Word of the day


Hleów-feðer – shelter feather; sheltering wing.

Word of the day


Aubade – a poem or piece of music appropriate to the dawn or early morning; song or instrumental composition concerning, accompanying, greeting or evoking daybreak; dawn serenade; love poem or song welcoming or lamenting the arrival of the dawn; a poem or song of or about lovers separating at dawn.

Word of the day


Augur –  portend a good or bad outcome; : to foretell especially from omens; to be a sign of especially good or bad things in the future; to give promise of; presage;  to serve as an omen or promise of; foreshadow; betoken; a religious official who observed natural signs, especially the behaviour of birds, interpreting these as an indication of divine approval or disapproval of a proposed action; a clairvoyant, priest or collection of priests whose job it was to interpret what the gods wanted.

Word of the day


Lynchet – a ridge or ledge formed along the downhill side of a plot by ploughing in ancient times;  an earth terrace found on the side of a hill.

Word of the day


Barrug – hoarfrost; dew-drops which have undergone deposition and frozen into ice crystals to form a white deposit on an exposed surface, when the air is cold and moist; the fine and featherlike frost that forms when water vapour freezes fast onto surfaces.


Word of the day


Eremocene – the age of loneliness;  a time for and all about our one species alone.

Word of the day


Noup – a promontory; a steep headland; an overhang; a jutting or overhanging crag; a jutting coastal headland, especially one with a sharp summit & sheer cliffs.

Word of the day


Tsundoku – the habit of collecting stacks of books that you haven’t read and might never get to; the constant act of buying books but never reading them so that they pile up in one’s room; the act of art of acquiring more books than one will ever read, such that they gather in stacks and flocks on shelves and floors.


Word of the day


Pappus – the tuft of hairs on each seed of thistles, dandelions, and similar plants, which assists dispersal by the wind; a downy, bristly, or other tuft-like appendage of the achene of certain plants, as the dandelion and the thistle; an appendage or tuft of appendages that crowns the ovary or fruit in various seed plants and functions in dispersal of the fruit; the modified calyx, the part of an individual floret, that surrounds the base of the corolla tube in flower heads of the plant family Asteraceae.

Word of the day


Syrinx – the lower larynx or voice organ in birds, situated at or near the junction of the trachea and bronchi and well developed in songbirds.

Word of the day


Borbhan – the murmur or purling sound made by a stream; the sound of small stones falling.

Word of the day


Toponymy – the study of place names; the place-names of a region or language or especially the etymological study of them.

Word of the day


Entheos – the God within.

Word of the day


A bonus word for Burns’ birthday:

Sleekit – smooth, glossy; having a glossy skin or surface; crafty, deceitful, sly; artfully flattering or ingratiating.

Word of the day


Lunula – the white area at the base of a fingernail; a crescent-shaped Bronze Age ornament worn as a necklace; a small crescent-shaped structure or marking.

Word of the day


Williwaw – a  sudden violent squall blowing offshore from a mountainous coast; a violent squall that blows in near-polar latitudes.

Word of the day

  1. Sternenzelt – firmament; star-tent; an expanse of star-filled sky stretched out above an observer, the celestial canopy in all its sheltering, shattering extent.

Word of the day


Kenning – a compound expression in Old English and Old Norse poetry with metaphorical meaning; a conventional poetic phrase used for or in addition to the usual name of a person or thing, especially in Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon verse; a type of circumlocution, in the form of a compound that employs figurative language in place of a more concrete single-word noun; a perceptible but small amount.

Word of the day


Driùchcainn – incision under one of the toes; chaffing between the toes caused by walking barefoot in warm sand; the feeling of walking barefoot across a beach with sun-warmed sand rubbing at your toes;.

On World Mental Health Day


Everyone has bad moments, bad days, bad times. Some people feel they are having a bad life.

We can’t easily see when someone’s heart is bleeding; we can’t bandage mental wounds and we can’t put broken spirits in splints.

But mental health problems can be as serious as physical ones and you can no more lift the black clouds of depression by bucking up, thinking positive or following any of the other well-intentioned exhortations than you can heal a physical injury or illness that way.

This is Mental Health Awareness week   and this year’s theme is:  Let nature in, strengthen your wellbeing – Mā te taiao kia whakapakari tōu oranga!

If you or someone you know needs help The Mental Health Foundation has a list of helplines, websites and other resources here and  Farmstrong has a list of places to go for help here.

For less serious issues there’s always Leunig:


What are you doing? I’m using my device. What is your device? My device is the sky. Does your device have many applications? Yes. It has sun, moon, clouds and birds. ANd do you have to recharge your device very often? I don’t ever have to recharge my device, It recharges me.

And Twitter:



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