Notes From My Office: February’s Words 2020

The end of February is quite a nice time. Normally, we are coming to the end of winter, although snow in March is not unknown, and all the signs of Spring are beginning to make themselves felt. Days are lengthening again, and gosh – isn’t it nice to leave the office while it’s still light outside?!

One of my favourite things about this time of year is the daffodils. There’s something so happy about the golden trumpets. It’s the only time when my vase is in regular use, is this time of year, because of daffodils.

We’ve had some very imaginative sorts of words and phrases, mostly related to fowl (there have been lots of chicken-related words, and I didn’t even search them out specifically!), this month, such that when the fairly prosaic ‘hendeca’ [prefix, ‘eleven of something’] turned up, we thought of hens on a double-decker bus. Or hens stacked on top of each other to make a double-decker.

The other words have included:

Hen-cackle: idle gossip or chatter, especially that characterised by women; a meeting where such occurs

Witches’ knickers: bits of plastic caught in hedges or on branches

Peacocking: ostentatious, extravagant or conceited behaviour

Hen’s teeth: something which is extremely rare, unattainable or non-existent

And for the mythologically inclined, don’t forget the henatrice, a female cockatrice (and probably far more dangerous!).


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