"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, 16 November 2011


I like visit my fellow bloglings on Alphabet Wednesday. Apart from anything else there are a couple who often introduce me to new words. One of those this week was Jo in Australia who gave me Reckling.

A reckling is the smallest or weakest of the litter. There are many similar words, especially used among the farming communities of different areas of the country and the world. One of the most popular is runt but reckling sounds a lot less unattractive. (Yes, I know that was a double negative but ‘a lot more attractive’ didn’t sound quite right).

My Dad used to describe himself as the runt of the litter because he was the last and so much smaller than his siblings. He remained fitter than them all throughout his life and died at the age of 93!

At one time I had a list of such words that I had collected during my wanders among the dialects of the UK but I seem to have lost it. I recall that nubbin and picayune (a word of US origin that somehow found its way to rural England) were among them. Any more would be welcome if you can contribute!

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