"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."

Wednesday, 3 February 2010



Although I cannot find it on the web I understand that ‘nitchy’ is a dialect term from Sussex meaning olde worlde, cosy etc. The sort of word that would be used to describe tea shoppes and coffee shops.


1 comment:

  1. If you haven't already spoken about "a fine kettle of fish", I thougth of that one today and did a little research on the web.

    "A pretty or fine kettle of fish" is a difficult problem or situation.

    Here's part of a longer explanation:

    "The custom was described by Thomas Newte in his Tour of England and Scotland in 1785: “It is customary for the gentlemen who live near the Tweed to entertain their neighbours and friends with a Fete Champetre, which they call giving ‘a kettle of fish’. Tents or marquees are pitched near the flowery banks of the river ... a fire is kindled, and live salmon thrown into boiling kettles”.

    What puzzles scholars is how this literal reference became an idiom — assuming, of course, that the phrase comes from the custom, which is far from certain. There is a clue in early examples, in which the term was used in the sense of a mess, muddle or confusion caused by one’s own misguided actions. For example, in Captain Francis Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue of 1811, it’s explained like this: “When a person has perplexed his affairs in general, or any particular business, he is said to have made a fine kettle of fish of it”."

    Compliments of World Wide Words © Michael Quinion