Saturday, 23 September 2017

Call My Bluff

This long running TV panel show was a great favourite in our family, and we learned many fascinating new words. A panellist would read out a word, and there would be three possible definitions - the other team had to guess which of the three was the right definition. I have learned three interesting new words recently - but I am just going to tell you the real meanings , not attempt to bluff you.
Oobleck - this is a Non-Newtonian liquid. I knew about NNLs - these are substances which don't follow the usual rules about liquid, as they become solid under pressure. You can fill a swimming pool with custard and run across it. Yes, you can. Watch this ancient kids programme introduced by Richard Hammond.
What I only recrently discovered is that the popular name for these NNLs is oobleck. The name comes from a Dr Seuss book where a musterious substance is made

My second word is cockaigne - not to be confused with cocaine, the drug, nor yet Elgar's Overture, Cockaigne (in London Town) This is an old English method of preserving fruits in alcohol, usually brandy, similar to the German Rumtopf. I found the recipe in Beryl Wood's book. It is made through the summer, and the jar is sealed at the end of September, not to be opened till Christmas Day. Beryl says the drained liquid is served as a liqueur, and the drained fruit should be served with ice cream, meringues and cream. She adds "This is not a nursery sweet"
My third word is equilux. I knew about equinox - when there are exactly twelve hours between sunrise and sunset, but not equilux. This is when there are 12 hours of light, and twelve of dark [obviously, it starts to get light before the sun rises, and some light remains even after sunset for a while] The days on which the length of day and night are exactly equal, called the equilux, occur a few days before the spring equinox and a few days after the autumn equinox. This date will vary depending on where on Earth you are, and indeed equiluxes do not occur at all close to the equator, whereas the equinox is a fixed instant in time. For us, in the UK, the equilux is early next week.
So there you are- three new words learned this term- but where and when I will get the chance to use them[other than here], I have no idea!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks tor this very interesting post Angela. I love learning new things so that's three new things this morning. Catriona


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