"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, 2 February 2010


Occasionally I seek help with a word on this blog. Foulroyce is just such a word.

I came across it in the letters of John Clare (Feb 7th 1825:- "I always admire the kindling freshness that the bark of the different sorts of trees & underwood assume in the forest – the foulroyce twigs kindle into a vivid colour at their tops as red as woodpigeons claws..."

I assume foulroyce was a dialect name for a particular plant. The study of such names was at one time of great interest to me but I never came across the name foulroyce. Has anyone any idea which plant it might be? (Or, if my assumption is incorrect, an idea what the word might mean?)


  1. Link for you:

    "foul rice, foulryce, n., foul-rush, the dogwood, Cornus sanguinea, or spindle-tree, Eounymus europaeus, both used for making musical instruments"

    (No I did not know this. I just can't resist googling.)

  2. Brilliant - thank you, Monica. You obviously Google better than I do!!! I wonder how many words - like 'Googling' - we adopt into our language without even thinking about it.

  3. Just followed up the link above - there are some great words there. Definitely some material for the future.

  4. l'm afraid all my words today would be foul mouthed.....am having a hissy fit!!!

    great distraction though on the blogland...

    hope you are well JOhn...

    saz x

  5. Hissy Fit. Either one of the cars or computers - perhaps it was even me - had a hissy fit recently. One for this blog?