"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, 30 November 2010

Adam's Ale

Adam's Ale is a name formerly applied to water. The term was often used jokingly.

Monday, 29 November 2010


A cellaret is the former name for a sideboard with compartments to hold wine bottles.

Friday, 19 November 2010


The old English game of Squails, invented by John Jacques II around 1857, was played on a round table and the objective was to hit discs with the heel of the hand from the edge of the table at a small lead target in the centre called a "jack". If the jack was moved more than six inches it was replaced. Once all sixteen Squails had been played, they were scored 16 for the squail nearest to the target down to 1 for the squail furthest away. Often, a squail would be directed with the aim of knocking an opponents squail away, as much as to end up near the target, in the same manner as for bowls.

Thursday, 18 November 2010


Cheese-paring is an adjective meaning giving or spending with reluctance; penny-pinching; parsimonius. It originates with the concept of someone who would shave (pare off) the rind of a cheese so as to waste as little as possible.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Amphibology - or amphiboly - is an ambiguous grammatical construction; an ambiguity arising from the uncertain construction of a sentence.