"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."
Saturday, 26 September 2009
Not my pigeon
To say something is 'not my pigeon' means something is not of material interest to oneself; not one's business; not an activity one would typically engage in under normal circumstances. (Indeed, it can, to some extent, be equated to something being 'not my cup of tea').
I wondered about the origin of this phrase and tried to look it up. The best potential origin I could come upo with was that one's pigeon referred in this context to a 'pigeon hole', the type one finds in the mail rooms of large organisations or by the door of a block of flats, i.e. if it is not in your pigeon hole, it is not addressed to you and, therefore, not your concern or responsibility. The phrase probably has nothiong to do with that but I liked the idea of it!
My daughter Helen commented in November 2008 in her Blog that she was now keeping a notebook of new words that she came across during her reading. "This week I bought a lovely little leather bound book to write new words in as I read them . I've added a few from "1984", but my favourite has to be persiflage (from the French persifler) which means banter." I later discovered that my older daughter, Bryony, also kept a similar notebook.
This inspired me to create a Word blog. This will include both new words, favourite words and the origins of phrases that we commonly use. A definition and some comment, perhaps even a relevant quotation, will acompany the word or phrase.
“I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me.” - Winnie the Pooh
I'm a blogger - nowadays that seems to be my main occupation and Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. I enjoy all manner of communication apart from the telephone and am constantly e-mailing, texting, writing postcards and letters and commenting on other people's blogs.
Scriptor Senex is Latin for Old Writer and my real name is John but I've almost forgotten that nowadays...
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)