The collective noun for Starlings is a charm. I could think of no less appropriate term for a flock of raucous, squabbling unattractive birds. However upon reading Richard Jeffries' 'Wildlife in a Southern County' all is revealed:-
“On approaching it this apparent cloud is found to consist of thousands of starlings, the noise of whose calling to each other is indescribable - the country folk call it a 'charm', meaning a noise made up of innumerable lesser sounds, each interfering with the other. The vastness of these flocks is hardly credible until seen; in winter the bare trees on which they alight become suddenly quite black.”
An uzzle-pye was a medieval extravaganza rather than food. Uzzle-pyes were baked with temporary contents which were then removed to be replaced by tethered birds which would settle down in the dark. When the pie was opened the birds began to sing... Sometimes they'd not be tethered and would fly free the moment the crust was broken; often putting out the candles and causing general chaos, to the delight of the host.
To fribble means to act in a foolish or frivolous manner; to trifle.
A fribbler sounds like a candidate for counselling but it was actually an eighteenth century term for a man who expressed profound infatuation for a woman but was unwilling to commit himself to her...... (Perhaps he did need counselling, after all.)
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.
I always thought necessary was an adjective -and only an adjective. As such it means being essential, indispensable, or requisite.
I thought the noun was necessity but it turns out that necessary is also a noun - something necessary or requisite; a necessity.
Some people have problems spelling necessary. I pointed out the other day that I membered it by saying "It is necessary to have one collar and two studs". It was pointed out to me that the modern generation wouldn't know anything about collar studs - good point!
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
Thanks for stopping by! I am a 6' year old man who lives near Liverpool in the UK. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and sit for a spell. If you enjoy my posts, please feel free to follow me or subscribe to my blog. To learn more about me please view my profile and continue to check out my posts. This is a word verification free, family friendly blog, so everything I share here is for all ages. Thank you so much!
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. There is a saying in Sweden "man måste vara frisk för att orka vara sjuk" ~ "you have to be well to cope with being ill"...
I enjoy most forms of communication and postcards are a specal favourite.
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)