Ancient Word of the Day: Nightmarish Nursery Rhymes

The sweet little rhymes and refrains that fills out childhoods are actually full of ghoulish and gruesome revelations. Here are some creepy examples… The rhythmic patterns of nursery rhymes provided an ideal framework for infants and children to develop language. Mary, Mary, quite contrary,How does your garden grow?With silver bells, and cockle shells,And pretty maidsContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Nightmarish Nursery Rhymes”

Ancient Words: Cute words in Polish and how to say them

PB and I were thinking about what we would name our pets. Once we get a place where we can have a backyard so that animals can run around, we will be getting a rescue dog and cat or perhaps a whole menagerie. What we discovered was an astonishing number of cute words in Polish,Continue reading “Ancient Words: Cute words in Polish and how to say them”

Ancient word of the day: Twankle

Twankle To twang your fingers on a musical instrument or absent-mindedly strum or play an instrument without thought. Other concatenations include: Twiddling, twandling, tootling, plunking, noodling, thrummling or tudeling. Tudeling (origin) German dudeln – to perform badly. The crappiest song that almost everyone can play on the piano Chopsticks was invented in 1877 by composerContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Twankle”

Ancient word of the day: Adder

Snakes, serpents, vipers, adders – they all convey ancient power of life over death, of emerging in ones full power to take back what belongs to them, of transformation and return. A potent ancestral spirit and augur from the Land of the Dead. Adder The Adder Vipera berus is the only venomous snake in Britain.Continue reading “Ancient word of the day: Adder”

Eight words in Polish that have no English equivalent

Around ten years ago now I tasked myself with learning Polish. Not for shits and giggles or just to challenge myself but for the very practical reason of being able to communicate with my partner’s family who live in Poland. It was a hard slog and some even consider Polish to be the hardest ofContinue reading “Eight words in Polish that have no English equivalent”

Ancient word of the day: Algorithm

The ancient Muslim empire in the city of Baghdad was the birthplace of the word (and the concept of the) algorithm. In the year 820 AD, a Persian genius named Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi created the concept of the algorithm and algebra in an ancient book called Kitab al-Jebr. The book Kitab al-Jebr (later latinisedContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Algorithm”

Ancient word of the day: Uncanny

The ancient word of the day is Uncanny. This is the feeling of encountering a landscape, person or object that is both frightening and unsettlingly dissonant. Freud coined a similar word for this “unheimlich”— which is to say, eerie and both homely and unhomely. I’m sure you would be able to recall some uncanny encounters,Continue reading “Ancient word of the day: Uncanny”

Ancient word of the day: Thalassophile

A thalassophile is a lover of the sea or someone who is powerfully drawn to and by the ocean. This ancient word comes from the Ancient Greek θάλασσα (thálassa, “sea”), and φίλος (phílos, “dear, beloved”). I took this photo on Enoshima Island in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan back in early October 2018. As the sun set,Continue reading “Ancient word of the day: Thalassophile”

Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

Whelm originates from Old English and it means to overturn or capsize a hollow vessel (a boat, a heart); to bury by wave, flood, storm, avalanche. The etymology is from the Old English hwelfan, to ‘upheave’. This explains the modern use of “overwhelmed” and “underwhelmed”. No voice divine the storm allay’d, No light propitious shone;Continue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm”