"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Thursday, 29 July 2010


Pabulum is a word for food; especially a suspension or solution of nutrients in a state suitable for absorption. It is also used to refer to intellectual sustenance. A third meaning is something (as writing or speech) that is insipid, simplistic, or bland.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


A catafalque is an ornamental structure sometimes used in funerals for the lying in state of the body; a pall-covered coffin-shaped structure used at requiem masses celebrated after burial

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


To eschew means to shun; avoid; stay away from deliberately; stay clear of; to avoid habitually especially on moral or practical ground.

It is generally pronounced e-shu.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Label-stops and Head-stops


Many church windows have decorative hood moulds, or drip stones, projecting above the windows to protect them from rainwater running down the walls. They end in what are generally called label-stops. When these label-stops are in the form of a human head they are called head-stops.

For more examples of head-stops see On the Wirral.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Greenfield and Brownfield

A greenfield site is one to be used for housing or commerce, whose previous use (if any) was agricultural. The term can lso be used generally to refer to any undeveloped lands such as fields or forests. The term has been around for many decades.

It was only recently that I heard the term brownfield site. Brownfield sites iare abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities available for re-use. Expansion or redevelopment of such a facility may be complicated by real or perceived environmental contaminations.