"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!
My daughter Helen commented in November 2008 in her Blog that she was now keeping a notebook of new words that she came across during her reading. "This week I bought a lovely little leather bound book to write new words in as I read them . I've added a few from "1984", but my favourite has to be persiflage (from the French persifler) which means banter." I later discovered that my older daughter, Bryony, also kept a similar notebook.
This inspired me to create a Word blog. This will include both new words, favourite words and the origins of phrases that we commonly use. A definition and some comment, perhaps even a relevant quotation, will acompany the word or phrase.
“I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me.” - Winnie the Pooh
I'm a blogger - nowadays that seems to be my main occupation and Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. I enjoy all manner of communication apart from the telephone and am constantly e-mailing, texting, writing postcards and letters and commenting on other people's blogs.
Scriptor Senex is Latin for Old Writer and my real name is John but I've almost forgotten that nowadays...
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)