Sunday, July 28, 2013

Shank's Mare

Well I have managed my 30min plus walks everyday so far, since I started the challenge last Saturday. From time to time I am reminded of a phrase I heard years ago - "Shank's mare." It actually originated in Scotland and means to walk. As in "Since I don't have a horse of my own, I'll use Shank's mare" i.e. I'll walk. It is sometimes referred to as Shank's pony and started out as Shank's nag.

I found this out on the site World Wide Words. It's a fun site with random links to random words - right up my random alley. Here are a few of the more interesting.

1. Screenagers - techno savvy teenagers raised on television and computers. I have 3 of them.

2. Chrestomathy - a selection of writings, an anthology. Would this ever be used to describe the blogosphere? I don't think that it is crisp or saucy enough, but then we do use the term blogosphere - not exactly sparkling!!

3. Digamy - a second marriage after a death or divorce of a previous spouse. Rhymes with bigamy. It's not in common usage. I can understand why :)

4. Dwile Flonking - It's right up there with marrow dangling, passing the splod, Portuguese sardine racing, conger cuddling, rhubarb thrashing. These are apparently charity games played in pubs in England. Click on the link to see how it is played. A dwile is a dishcloth. Can we just stick to darts and dominos? Now if you have ever thrown a dishcloth at anyone, you may want to compete.

5. Ebonics - a blend of ebony and phonics. It's a term used to describe the unique grammar and vocabulary of African-American speech.

6. Ensorcelled - to be bewitched or enchanted. Doesn't really cast a spell. Maybe it needs to be used more or it needs a movie.

Sausages - Links to the Haruspices

 7. Facinorous - immoral, grossly criminal, extremely wicked, vile, atrocious, heinous or infamous, in other words "an obscure insult for unpleasant people."

8. Fanfaronade - a braggart, maybe with a bit of flare.

9. Gafiate - to get away from it all. Coined from the acronym GAFIA - get away from it all. It originated from the fandom of Science Fiction. Click on the link to read more :)

10. Haruspex - A haruspex in ancient Rome was a religious official who interpreted omens by inspecting the entrails of sacrificial animals. The link takes you to an interesting passage from Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Fortunately, I don't eat liver, kidneys or other organs, so I am not tempted to use them to foresee the future, though with their high cholesterol content, I've got a pretty good idea what that future would be :) Now I do eat sausage which is a little like pretending, that what tastes good, is good for you and doesn't contain anything offal, oh sorry, awful. Have we really moved that much beyond the haruspices?

I am down to G having skipped over a number of words that I have never heard before, but didn't include here. This is the link to the list I was using. It takes time and good eyesight, but if you like words, it is entertaining.

Have a "gafiate" day!!

1 comment:

  1. You have the coolest material, Carol. Love "screenagers" and that your charity events are so imaginative. Cool.