Bird words

Friday, August 12th, 2016 11:44 am
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I have learned several new bird words recently.

According to this sad report on the Dunsapie Loch swans Sally and Sid, a female swan is called a pen and a male swan is called a cob. I'm not entirely sure how you tell the difference, though. Is the male swan the one that's attacking you?

In news from the Highlands, it transpires that gannet chicks are called guga. They either taste like salty goose, somewhere between kipper and steak, a mix of rotten leather and fishy beef, or anchovy paste topped with high-strength cod liver oil. Yum!

And finally, the local name for the Great Skua in Orkney is bonxie. I heard it described as being able to "bonk" puffins out of the air and eat them before they hit the sea. Less gruesomely, the word seems to basically mean "dumpy bird".

Not birdspotting, but wordspotting!

Burger rights now!

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 01:27 pm
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Absentmindedly listening to news in slow German to improve my dismal German and thoguht I heard something about a "Burger movement". Is that anything like a sausage movement, I wondered - after all, this is Germany. But wait. Burger means something else in German. Citizen movement. Right.


Monday, August 25th, 2014 03:37 pm
tamf: jade dragon belt clasp. (Default)
It's such a treat to come across a nice new word in the course of one's days, in this case in a podcast visiting some old building or another. Either I wasn't paying attention, or every other piece of information was washed away by the coolness of the word "ambulatorium". Apparently that's "ambulatory" in Engish, but don't worry, Latin Wikipedia's got it covered.

This thing is a place to walk around a central room - in a European context, the cloister. What struck me (as I've just been to India) is that they've got the same kind of corridorish things in Hindu temples, to walk around the idol room. I doubt they're called ambulatories, though.


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