"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, 24 January 2010

Answers on a postcard, please

At one time (long ago, in my youth) newspapers and magazines in Britain used to publish conundrums or quiz questions for their readers, with a small prize for the first correct reply, or the first 10 correct replies, or whatever.

Until a few years ago a postcard cost less to mail than a letter, and postcards were also easier for the magazine staff to sort through (no opening of envelopes), so the standard instruction was "Answers on a postcard, please, to [the magazine address]". So this became an idiom for "If anybody knows, please tell me".


  1. How interesting! I would say that a lot of your word blogs are "on a postcard please" as I always feel I have learned something new. Even when I know the word(s) it's great to get some additional information or background.
    Hope all is well, take care & God bless,
    Canadian Chickadee & English Robin

  2. I thought of you yesterday when reading a post at another blog:
    Would be interesting to hear what you think! "Answer on a blogpost, please"?