Tuesday, 16 June 2009

A Wink or a Wimble

If I keep on getting up early you could become very fed up of seeing sunrises...

GB cooked an excellent meal (as always) for seven the other night. The topics of conversation before and during dinner included the following:- finding a dead body in the water; finding a not-dead body in the graveyard; a dog bringing home a human skull; what happens when emptying a septic tank goes wrong; what happens when emptying the loo on a coach goes wrong; burying bodies for forensic science research; scattering ashes (potentially into the wind) from on board ship; forgetting ashes and leaving them in a hotel bedroom; people being found dead on the moors; piracy at sea; assorted medical procedures; plane crashes; blocked drains; and heaven knows what else. Notwithstanding this (or perhaps because of it) everyone enjoyed themselves. One advantage of reaching a reasonable age is that these things don't spoil one's appetite and the only young person at the table had been away for months living largely on the diet of a ship's crew so nothing was going to put her off her food.

One of the things that reminds me I'm in a 'foreign' country is getting change in the shops. In England it is years since we had pound notes. In Scotland not only are there pound notes but they are issued by more than one bank, as are five, ten and twenty pound notes. (I'm not rich enough to worry about £50 notes!!). Here are a few samples.

Sadly you can't spend pictures or I'd show you a few more.

This is a wink or wimble, once used for winding hay bonds or straw ropes. It was one of the many fascinating items to be seen in the farmng museum at Bicton Park near Exeter.

The name wimble is defined in the dictionary as being a boring tool (i.e. a tool that bores holes, not one that stimulates no enthusiasm!), like an augur, so presumably its use in this context is a dialect term from Devon.

The same may apply to wink for which a suitable definition cannot be found in the dictionary. Definitions tend to be the ones one might expect like 'a facial expression' or 'closing one eye quickly as a signal'. (As a completely irrelevant fact you may wish to know that Wink was also the name of a 1980s Japanese pop duo - but then you might not wish to know that!!)

If you like finding out about the origins of words and phrases or learning new and unusual words you may care to visit my Words and Phrases Blog which has a new entry every day.



  1. What a great post. Thanks for sharing all the interesting info. I will never get tired of the sunrise photos. Yours are excellent.

  2. Never get tired of sunrises though sometimes I'm tired when viewing them. It must rain up there sometime!

  3. Another fascinating post, S.S.
    Always love your perspective...and those dinner topics...Wow! Would I have loved being a little bird on the windowsill for that one!

    "A tool for boring..." I've known some of those....

  4. I am with tricia, I never get bored with sunrises.
    Sounds like you all put the world to rights over dinner.
    Love the pictures of the 'notes'. I too would think I was in foreign parts if I got these in change.
    I am off to peruse the Words and Phrases Blog now.
    Love Granny

  5. Your sunrise photos are great, keep posting. Here on this side of the pond we’ve had nothing but rain. It’s nice to see a beautiful fiery sunrise. Even better, I didn’t have to get out of bed to see it!


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