Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Wonderful Words

I was idly flipping through one of those "dangerous books" that Mrs The Millbrooker and I keep in the sitting room. They're referred to as dangerous because they contain thousands of gobbets of fascinating information; you pick one up looking for a specific piece of information and find yourself completely lost in a world of unrelated wonders only to re-emerge several hours later wondering where the day has gone.

The dangerous book in question last night was my much loved copy of "Depraved English", a selective dictionary compiled by Peter Novobatzky and Ammon Shea. Should you decide to buy your own copy, in a new updated edition (and I recommend that you do) - you can find it here.

Whilst doing the idle flipping I was delighted to discover the verb "to feague". To feague is to insert something up a horse's backside in order to make it look perkier, livelier - more saleable.

Feague is also a noun; the actual item that is pushed up where the sun don't shine. I quote from the book..."a good feague could consist...of several things, the most common being raw ginger...(or if stronger measures were called for, as in the case of a particularly sluggish or decrepit nag) owners sometimes resorted to the insertion of a live eel."

I don't know if I'm happier that a word exists for such a thing or that I'm not a horse in need of pepping up.


The photo of the horse (which probably hadn't actually been feagued, it just looks like it might have) found at www.pbase.com/ganks/image/1865829.

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