Monthly Archives: January 2016

Haggis

It’s Burns Night, the anniversary of the birth (January 25, 1759) of Robert Burns. Let’s celebrate with something Scottish. Haggis, a traditional Scottish dish and a must-have for a Burns Night meal, is a type of sausage made from sheep’s

Posted in Weird Words

Widdershins

Ever had a clock that runs widdershins? Ever run widdershins around a church or ring of toadstools? If you’ve ever seen the sun going widdershins, you’re either in the Southern Hemisphere or you need to return your compass. It’s defective.

Posted in Weird Words

Vair

Vair is a little-used word that will give squirrels nightmares. It means squirrel fur, specifically the white and bluish-gray fur of the Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris). In Northern and Central Europe, the Eurasian Red Squirrel’s winter coat is blueish-gray

Posted in Weird Words

Goblin

Goblins abound in fantasy literature, from Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market to George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, but where does the word come from? And what is a goblin? Goblins come in many shapes

Posted in Weird Words