Posts tagged with ‘corncrake’

More crakery from the canon

I didn’t want my post on rails and crakes to suffer from poetry bloat, so I didn’t quote it before, but John Clare isn’t the only Dead Famous English Poet who mentioned corncrakes in a poem. This is the mowing scene from Upon Appleton House, to My Lord Fairfax by Andrew Marvell. I went through […]

Birding the dictionary 2

I’ve been investigating more avian etymologies, looking for things of interest. There isn’t much to say about most bird names, because they’re self-explanatory (oystercatcher, wagtail) obviously onomatopoeic (chiff-chaff), or just dead-ends. For example, checking up on ‘merlin’, the dictionary says: merlin (mɜ:lın). ME. [– AFr. merilun, aphet. f. OFr. esmerillon (mod. émerillon), augment. of esmeril […]