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Hi! My name is Margot. My blog is about the things I love to do. That could be what I'm reading, places we visit, my family, food, or whatever else is happening. I hope you'll stay and visit a while. Contact me by email: joyfullyretired (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Wondrous Words #159

Welcome to Wondrous Words Wednesday, a weekly meme designed so we can share new-to-us words we find in our reading. I’ve been reading Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. Here are a few words I found.

1.  quirting: Cowboys who could ride anything caught the horses and ran them on fear, spurring and quirting them too hard, taking pride in staying on no matter how desperately they bucked and fishtailed.

A  quirt is a short-handled riding whip with a braided leather lash. Quirting means to hit the horse  with a quirt or whip.

 2.  scutch: Patches started to scutch about at the strange noise but I held her in, and as the plane approached I took off my hat and waved.

The definition I found for scutch didn’t seem to fit the sentence. It said the word meant to dress by beating?  In looking closer, I found the original word trace from the mid 18th century. It’s from the obsolete French escoucher, from Latin excutere ‘shake out.’ I can see the horse “shaking out’ at the strange noise.

3.  Poms: Santa Fe was a beautiful old place – Dad pointed out that the Spanish arrived here even before the first Poms got to Virginia – with low adobe buildings and dusty streets lined with Spanish oaks.

Poms is slang for English people.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is sponsored by Kathy at Bermuda Onion.

9 comments to Wondrous Words #159

  • Hi Margot,

    I don’t really tend to read memoirs, but I have to admit that this one sounds quite good, a real down to earth story.

    I didn’t know the first couple of your words, but obviously I know all about ‘poms’!

    I found this great definition of it on an Australian website:

    Poms: Definition: What Aussies call the English. Note: POM actually stands for ’Prisoner of Mother England’, which would mean Austalians, but somehow we twisted it around to suit our own needs.

    Makes us ‘Brits’ sound bad, no matter how you package it up!

    Yvonne

  • I wonder why those poor English people was named poms (in French une pomme= an apple) !

  • Great words and I love Yvonne’s further explanation of pom. Thanks for sharing!

  • I just read quirt someplace else and knew I had to look it up, thanks for being my dictionary.

  • I’ve seen quirts but never knew they had a specific name. I don’t like to see them used on horses. All of the words are new to me. I wonder if I can use scutch when for when a dog shakes after it’s gotten wet.

  • As an Australian Pom is a word that we use frequently still. The other two were new to me too. Scutch has a great sound. I like Kathy’s suggestion for the dog shaking itself after a bath- we should have a word for that. Perhaps we can start a resurgence of scutching?

  • Quirting! What a fabulous word! Almost as good as “Tiffin!” Has anyone had a “Tea and Tiffin” party? Doesn’t that sound marvelous?

  • Excellent words!! Lately as I’ve been reading I often find words that i should include for a WW post….yours makes me smarter!

  • I’ve seen quirts but never knew they had a specific name. I don’t like to see them used on horses. all of the words are new to me. I wonder if I can use scutch when for when a dog shakes after it’s gotten wet.