"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, 14 August 2011


Scandaroon - a large variety of fancy pigeon having a long thin body and an elongated neck and head [from Scandaroon the former name of Ishenderon or Iskanderun a seaport in Turkey]; also an old name for a carrier pigeon and a swindler.

Financier Nathan Rothschild learned of the success at Waterloo in 1815 by scandaroon (carrier pigeon) and falsely hinted that the battle - and England's future - was lost thereby sending stocks tumbling. He bought lots of the artificially deflated slocks and then made a killing when the news of success came through and their price went back up. Strangely, although scandaroon came to mean a swindler it was nothing to do with that episode but because of the sordid reputation of Iskanderun - the Turkish seaport.

1 comment:

  1. A new word for me! Thank you! And I love such anecdotes.