Hello again, folks! Welcome to another episode of Words for the Week, which happens every Sunday. I have so many books full of great words, and I so rarely have an excuse to delve into them. So I’m putting together a small selection of these lovely words once a week, in the hope that you enjoy them as much as I do. This week’s words begin with ‘W’.
Wayzgoose (noun): An annual outing and dinner of the staff of a printing works or the printers of a newspaper.
There are two great things about this word. Firstly, that a word exists for a particular dinner in a particular industry. Secondly, that Robert lists it as well, only he says it’s a Cornish word meaning ‘scarecrow’. So which is true? Are they connected? I have no idea, but I love it.
Whimling (noun): 1. Someone given to whims; 2. A weak, childish person.
I mean, this makes me want to put ‘-ling’ at the end of every word to make it a noun. Like ‘halfling’. There must be others examples too, but my brain fails me.
Woodled (adjective): Northamptonshire. Muffled, wrapped about the head and neck. Etymology unknown.
David points out that it’s “similar in sound to huddle, mobble (‘muffle up’), cuddle, and other words that all seem to be expressing a sense of closeness and enclosure.” Ain’t that cute?
Wonty-tump (noun): Herefordshire. Molehill.
Now, that’s beautiful. All cute sounding, and somehow makes complete sense to my brain despite being nonsense.
Winterbourne (noun): Berkshire, Dorset, Wiltshire. Intermittent or ephemeral stream, dry in the summer and running in winter, usually found in chalk and limestone regions.
Another water word, which will surprise no-one. I love the idea of an ‘intermittent stream’. Superb.
This week’s words were sourced from Foyle’s Philavery, collected by Christopher Foyle; Landmarks by Robert McFarlane; The Disappearing Dictionary by David Crystal.