Cat saw an article in The Old Foodieand said she thought of me. At first I wondered if my spreading waist-line was the cause but then I realised it was the lovely word Croghton-Belly.
Unknown American artist, 1850’s-60’s, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
A Croghton-Belly is a person who eats a great deal of fruit. It comes from 'A dictionary of archaic & provincial words, obsolete phrases ...' (1852), by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps. It is said to come from Lancashire. If you would like to find out more please visit the Old Foodie's article about A belly Full of Fruit!
The pilcrow (¶), also called the paragraph mark, paragraph sign, paraph, alinea, or blind P, is a typographical character for individual paragraphs.
The pilcrow can be used as an indent for separate paragraphs or to designate a new paragraph in one long piece of copy. The pilcrow was a type of rubrication used in the Middle Ages to mark a new train of thought, before the convention of visually discrete paragraphs was commonplace
The derivation of its name is as complex as its form. It originally comes from the Greek paragraphos(para, “beside” and graphein, “to write”), which led to the Old French paragraph, which evolved into pelagraphe and then pelagreffe. Somehow, the word transformed into the Middle English pylcrafte and eventually became the “pilcrow.”
Excerpt of a page from Villanova, Rudimenta Grammaticæ showing several pilcrow signs in the form common at that time, circa 1500 (image: Wikimedia commons).
Pronounced (I think) sis-er-oh-knee, a cicerone is a guide who
gives information about antiquities and places of interest to sightseers.The word is derived from the Italian for antiquarian
scholar, guide, after Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), Roman consul, orator,
and writer, alluding to the eloquence and erudition of these guides.
(If you want to learn more about Cicero I thoroughly recommend
Robert Harris’ ‘Imperium’ (2006), a life of Cicero.The book is fiction but is brilliantly
researched and gives a real flavour of what the great man must have been like.)
I defined 'Gyre' in May and got the wonderful comment from Cat that she was waiting for Gimble! Some people will have instantly recognised the reference to that superb nonsense poem by Lewis Carol from his 1871 novel 'Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.' Its playful, whimsical language has given us nonsense words and neologisms such as "galumphing" and "chortle".
What many people may not know is that the first stanza was written while he was in Croft on Tees, close to Darlington, where he lived as a child, and it was printed in 1855 in Mischmasch, a periodical he wrote and illustrated for the amusement of his family. The piece was titled "Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry"
Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe: All mimsy were ye borogoves; And ye mome raths outgrabe.
(Note the spelling of Gymble changed to Gimble in the 1871 version). Since Cat joked that she was was waiting for a definition of Gimble I decided to see if I could find one and I found four thanks to Merriam-webster and the Urban Dictionary -
As a verb it can mean to make a face or grimace or to make holes with a gimblet.
As a noun it means a good-for-nothing or a compulsive liar.
Sadly I am almost a dilapidator.A dilapidator was a person who neglected an
ancient building and allowed it to deteriorate.The only difference in my case is that the building is not ancient – it
is just beginning to look it because of all the outstanding jobs that are
Swither is a verb of Scottish origin and means to hesitate;
vacillate; to be perplexed.
As a noun it means hesitation; perplexity; agitation.
I love the idea of swithering - it sounds just like its
meaning.(I looked up whether there was
a word to describe a word that sounds like what it means such as hesitate but
there isn't.Onomatopoeia is about the
nearest but that refers specifically to words that represent the sound such as
bang and buzz.)
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! Would you like a cup of tea or coffee? And please, sit for a spell. If you enjoy my posts, please feel free to follow me or subscribe to my blog. This is a word verification free, family friendly blog, so everything I share here is for all ages. I am a happily married man in my late sixties who lives on the Wirral peninsula, near Liverpool, in the UK.
I'm a blogger - and nowadays that seems to be my main occupation. 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 special favourite. I used to blog as Scriptor Senex which is Latin for Old Writer but now Google only lets me post as John Edwards.
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)