Monday, October 06, 2014

Portuguese drivers; More odd words: & The faye.


Today I drove to Lisbon. Despite sticking to the speed limit of 120kph, I think I was passed by every driver in Portugal. Most of them in black estate cars, of course. It's like Spain 10 years ago; you have to look into your mirror every 10 seconds, for fear someone has come up on you at 180kph since you last looked and saw no one. And don't get me on the tail-gaiting!

But, anyway, I'm short of time so offer this second list of odd words from Arnold Bennett's 1908 novel "The Old Wives' Tale". As you'll appreciate, the family business is in cloth of one sort and another:-
A freely: ??? This one beat the on-line dictionaries.
Hoop: A circular band of stiff material used to expand and display a woman's skirt.
Marl: A loose or crumbling earthy deposit (as of sand, silt, or clay) that contains a substantial amount of calcium carbonate
Diaper: A linen or cotton fabric with a woven pattern of small, constantly repeated figures, as diamonds. [Modern meaning in the USA, of course, is 'nappy']
To bait: To feed and water (a horse or other animal), especially during a journey.
Chuck: Term of endearment, still used in the North of the UK.
Butty: English dialect: A friend or workmate
Sidesman: A man elected to help the parish church warden in the Anglican church.
Cachou: A pill or lozenge for sweetening the breath.
Crepitation: a crackling sound
Murmurous: Abounding in or characterized by murmurs.
Tapster: A barman
Lief: Gladly; willingly. As in 'I would as lief . . . ':
Sempstress: A seamstress
Fiacre: A small horse-drawn carriage.

Finally . . . About 10 years ago, my elder daughter sowed a mere 4 passion fruit seeds down at the bottom of the garden. Since then the bloody thing has taken over the entire garden, front and back of the house. It's climbing past the bedroom windows and up all the trees; it's threaded itself through all the hedges; and it's even it's crept along the front fence and is being trained around her gate by my neighbour, the lovely Ester. As some may recall, I've honoured the plant with a name - 'the faye'. After said daughter. But enough is enough. I'm going on the attack.

2 comments:

Anthea said...

In some parts of the north of England factory workers used to take their packed lunch to work in a "bait tin". There you go!

Perry said...

A butty is a narrowboat without an engine, destined to be towed, or hauled, by another boat.

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