Misopogonistic Santa`s

Christmas is the season when strange men in red hats and white beards lurk and loiter in every shopping arcade. It’s therefore the time when the word misopogonistically really comes into its own. Misopogonistically is an adverb that means with a hatred of beards. Sample sentence: “No I don’t want …

Mugwump – a brief history….

A Mugwump is a derogatory word for somebody in charge, or for somebody who affects to be above petty squabbles and faction. The plodding boss and the pompous peacemaker are both mugwumps. Mugwump is therefore an eminently useful word. It has a preposterous sound: the ug and the ump get …

Nest egg…..

I had always assumed that a nest-egg (of the financial variety) was something that would hatch upon a rainy day. I made this mistake because I have never kept chickens. Chickens, being giddy creatures, are liable to lay their eggs and then, when they have hatched, to abandon their nest. …

Paracelsus and Gnomes…….

There was once a chap called Paracelsus. He was an alchemist, chemist, medic, and all-round clever clogs of the sixteenth century. Paracelsus was not his real name of course: that would be ridiculous. His real name was Phillippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus Von Hohenheim. Paracelsus was a moniker he acquired for …