Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Craggy

A crag is a steep or rugged rock. Craggy can refer to a human face or the landscape and means rugged or rough textured. There are other versions of the word, for example in Scotland* the scenery got craggier as we approched the highlands, it was craggiest on Skye where the landscape is craggily magnificent.

Btw the pictures are all to illustrate craggy landscapes. It's purely coincidental that the same photographer just happens to be in all of them not long after remarking on the size of my bum.

*yes I have been to Scotland. I have some pictures if you'd like to see them ...





Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Crenellations of Tantallon

You might have known that crenellation is the uppy downy bits on battlements. You can have a point if you did. To crenallate is to provide a castle or tower with crenellation.

Did you know the uppy downy parts also have proper names? The gaps are crenels or crenelles. The bits between are merlons. Here's a sign to prove I don't just make all this stuff up.




And here's a picture of a castle, showing crenallation, which was taken on our recent trip and is obviously the entire reason for choosing today's word of a week. It's called Tantallon - isn't that a fantastic name for a castle?

We got there early and had the place to ourselves for the first half hour. I really must work it into a story.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Rummage

My friends Geoff and Edna suggested rummage as a word of the week*.  Like us, they're campervanners** (the picture is of the four of us celebrating finding a good pitch)

Campervanners often have to rummage. It can mean to search untidily and unsystematically. It doesn't matter how tidily and systematically you pack your van, that kind of approach never works when it comes to finding the corkscrew and chocolate.

A rummage can be a confused miscellanuous collection (of craft supplies perhaps, Edna?) A rummager is someone who rummages. Once you've finished rummaging you will have rummaged for long enough.

To rummage out is to find amongst other things. To rummage about is to disarrange. (That's another good word)

Rummage also refers to the arrangement of casks in the hold of a ship. That definitely needs to be done tidily and systematically or the ship will become unstable. Also it'll mean the sailors have to rummage about to find their rum.

*Pity it wasn't rustle, or I could have told you about Edna rustling up thai green kippers, or the time Geoff got us lost in the fog and we heard weird rustling sounds in the night (which turned out to be hundreds of sheep we'd not seen through the mist on our arrival)

**They're the friends mentioned in my recent radio interview. My bit starts ten minutes in and lasts for five minutes.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Quadrennial

Quadrennial can either mean lasting for four years, or recurring every four years. That's rather confusing, isn't it? Suppose I told you I had a cake eating binge on a quadrennial basis - would that mean I stuffed myself silly for forty-eight consecutive months, or that I lasted almost four years between blow-outs?

Now you're confused over the meaning of a word which you hadn't previously even knew existed. There's no need to thank me. I do this kind of thing out the goodness of my heart.