"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


"Whigmaleerie" is a Scots word. Doesn't it have a wonderful ring to it? Ian Buchan suggested it merited a posting and it certainly does.

Whigmaleerie is currently the name of a musical group but it has a number of meanings including, principally, a fanciful notion. It can also be a piece of ornamentation in a dress, a game played at a drinking club and a fantastical contraption. Nowadays, it is often applied to a rotating clothes dryer in a garden. William Souter (1898-1943), born near the village of Auchtergaven, Perth, wrote a poem of that title.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! the musical group is unknown to me, but then we're a bit out of those sort of things down here.