Skip to main content

Dreich, drookit and mauchit

Sometimes regional dialects can describe things far better than standard English (whatever that is) - like the Australian crook - as in "I feel a bit crook" - immediate visual image of being not quite upright, and the audible emphasis on the double oo for 'eurgh, I'm sick'.

But for sheer onomatopoeic brilliance the Scots are hard to beat:

Take today for example -





The weather is cold, grey and damp, visibility is reduced by the constant rain, and there's a breeze that finds the gap between your jacket and neck and chills you to the bone. Thirty words, where one would suffice: dreich - pronounced dree - followed by the soft ch as in loch - something that most Englishmen completely fail to master; but whereas 'lock' is just about tolerable, in a have to feel sorry for them sort of a way, 'dreik' loses its meaning altogether. So try it - it's like the gentlest clearing of your throat, a soft wind across the back of your tongue - loch, dreich. Got it? Today defines dreich.

Four-legged-friend, out for a walk on a dreich day, became totally, but happily drookit; helped by plunging into a stream swollen by recent rain.



Drookit means drenched. Absolutely. "Dr-ooooo-kit" - say it and you can hear the image of dripping, hanging, sodden wet dog, who is now steaming and smelly by the Aga.

Lastly, mauchit:



My mauchit wellies - splendidly muddy!

So dreich, drookit and mauchit - a trio of miserable weather gnomes, Damp, Drenched and Dirty - or three fantastic words which deserve a wider audience?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Confetti for the brain. A little bit of history regarding a use for holes and a couple of quotes.

Confetti - noun: small pieces of coloured paper thrown over a bride and groom following their marriage ceremony. Also the bane of church yards and wedding venues - who wants to exit church after their favourite spinster aunt's funeral and slip on the papier mâché mush of last weekend's weddings, or step, in your wedding gown, onto a pink spattered step when your colour theme is lilac?

Confetti - derived from the Latin confectum, meaning something prepared. Which suggests that there is something missing from the traditional wedding rhyme 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue ... something prepared.' How about something shared ... declared ... or ensnared??

Nature's confetti is all over the ground at this time of year -




The garden, footpaths, and pavements are covered in blossom snow. And, when he falls asleep beneath the apple tree, it speckles Four-legged-friend's black coat.





The confetti we know today - bits of bio-degradable (churc…

Bollockworts

Ah, spelling! Or more accurately mis-spelling. And in particular, my near mis-spelling of the title above.

As AA Milne said with the voice of Pooh, or Piglet, or maybe wOl,

'My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.' He went on to say that 'spelling isn't everything.'

But ...

Mark Twain said that 'anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word lacks imagination.'

But ... hmm ...

Unfortunately, I can think of two ways to spell the title of this blog - the homonym for wort would create a major Wobble and would turn an innocent blog about plants - yes; plants ... you have the homonym in your head, don't you? ... to something entirely different; unpleasant skin eruptions in unspeakable places. All entirely ... still stuck in your mind? ...  yes, entirely unintended. Yes, un-in-ten-ded. Absolutely. Not a w-a-rt in sight.

Bollocks on the other hand. You didn't see that coming, did you?

Bol…

Saunter, dream and sometimes marvel

Sometimes, when I visit an art exhibition, it is enough to spend an hour or so getting lost in the paintings.

Sometimes, the paintings are not to my taste and rather than getting lost in the art, it loses me and I leave feeling that I have walked through a sweetshop and failed to eat any of the sweets.

I have been to art exhibitions where every picture is a wow - Turner, Lowry, the 2017 BP portrait award - and to some where none is - Rauschenberg at Tate Modern. And I have been to some unexpected gems - Ernest Shepherd's illustrations at the Winnie the Pooh exhibition at the V&A and a marine art exhibition in 2016, in a small maritime gallery in Mystic, USA.

Special exhibitions or event exhibitions are expensive and I have devised a private, retrospective is-it-worth-it score. If there is one picture that makes me stop and stare. And stare again. That pauses time. And takes my breath away. If there is one of these - there only needs to be one - then the is-it-worth-it worthine…