"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."

Sunday, 6 September 2009


Haggard means careworn; showing the wearing effects of overwork or care or suffering; bony; very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold.

"Her face was drawn and haggard."

A haggard was also a stackyard on a farm; a place for stacking grain and hay.

And Henry Rider Haggard was a British writer noted for romantic adventure novels (1856-1925).

But it was another definition of haggard that Partner-who-loves-tea and I came across in the crossword the other day. Apparently it was a name given to a wild hunting bird (a hawk or falcon) captured as an adult.


  1. How curious is that, to call a captured bird of prey haggard? Interesting!

  2. Scriptor... Here's a phrase I wondered about "Spic and Span."

    Here's a YouTube sensation: Russian linguist Hot For Words. You might enjoy her work.