Tuesday 9 September 2014

Odds and Ends

Lost for Words

Most of the fiction I have been reading recently has been easy-to-read cosy crime and the like.  However, P-w-l-t and I were in the library the other day and Edward St Aubyn’s ‘Lost for Words’ (2014) caught my eye on the new books display shelf.   

For a moment I thought it might be non-fiction and when I realised it was fiction I almost put it down.  But this review caught my eye on the back – “The wit of Wilde, the lightness of Wodehouse, the waspishness of Waugh.”  I couldn’t resist an author like that so I took it out on loan.  I would add some more ‘W’s – Wonderful whimsical writing; well worth reading. 


Divorced Hollywood star Sandra Bullock (49) has mocked gossip journalists who say she is now canoodling with actor Chris Evans (32), saying on TV – “You guys are a little behind.  We’ve since married and it started breaking apart.  So we separated, filed for divorce. And I hope everyone can respect our privacy…”

I thought that was an amusing take on the gossip columns and it also gave me an excuse to put a picture of Sandra Bullock on my blog!

Robin Redbreast
Why is the English Robin called Robin Redbreast when its breast is orange?   

The answer lies deep in history.  It has been called ‘Redbreast’ since at least 1425.  But the word orange has only been used to describe a colour since 1557.   

The word red was originally used to include shades of purple, pink and orange.  All those names came later.


  1. What a great post! Especially love the explanation for the "robin red breast." Native Americans had no different words for purple, orange, or red either, and considered all those colours to be shades of one colour. Which is why so many Native American designs incorporate the colours in ways that seem strange to Western eyes. xoxoxo

  2. The naming of colours is very interesting. Have you wondered about "the wine dark sea"? Apparently blue is the last colour to get a name in the development of many languages. People seem perfectly able to manage without a word for blue, which strikes me as very odd. It's not that they didn't see it, apparently - just that they saw it as a version of another colour that they did have a name for. Perhaps they saw it as a sort of version of green.

    In the same way dark orange and light pink could I suppose seem "red"


  3. So as to color/colour names, our ancestors were lumpers and not splitters! Very interesting.

  4. I didn't know that about the different words for colours, but it makes sense; so many of the fruit we now regularly have on our tables were mostly unknown in Europe for a long time.
    Thank you for the book tip. Wodehouse is an author I love very much, although I haven't read any of his books in about 20 years, but if this author's writing is compared to his, then I should give him a try.

  5. Well that really was a fascinating piece of information about the Robin Redbreast CJ.

  6. I love Sandra Bullock and her movies...she's a funny gal! Thanks for the info on Robins...we had a little Robin family living in a basket I had hanging on my door this Spring and enjoyed watching the birds hatch and fly away. However, I've decided to not do a basket hanging anymore since my front door was a total mess and nobody could come in that way! Ha! Have a good weekend and enjoy your book!

  7. Poor Sandra Bullock - she has no luck picking misters, does she? I did know that about the color thing... just not about robins in particular. They also called brown-haired people "black-haired". Some people even pronounce "Wodehouse" like "Woodhouse". Or so I've heard. 8-)

    1. Well done! But can you pronounce the surnames Death, St John, Belvoir, Cholmondeley, Marjoribanks, Mainwairing and , best of all, Featherstonehaugh? :-}

  8. I like Sandra Bullock, and it's sad that she never finds the right love in her life...I hope one day that she will find Mr.Right....
    Thanks for the history of colours and especially the Robin Red Breast info...I never knew that.


Hello - thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. Your comments are much appreciated even if I don't always reply. They will appear as soon as they have been moderated.

Blog Archive