Here's a word to cheer up some rather troubled times. It's used in Scotland, Ireland, and some Northern parts of England and it means all sorts of good things: comely, curvy, cheerful, good-natured and lucky.
As if this isn't comforting enough sonsie can also mean large, as in a helping of food, or hefty, as in a knock on the head...
...hm. That's possibly not quite so much fun. Not unless it happens to someone else, anyway.
And even that's not the end of sonsie. It can mean sensible (this can apply either to people, or to an easily-tamed breed of animal).
See what a wonderful word it is? Why, sonsie has over the years been used to mean pretty much anything admirable. Robert Burns even used it to describe a haggis, though what a haggis has to be cheerful about I cannot for the life of me imagine.
I'll leave you with a sonsie blessing: sonse fa ye.
It means good luck.
Word To Use Today: sonsie or sonsy. This word comes from the Scots Gaelic sonas, which means good fortune.
Prof Byrne has said that although it's been known for thirty years that chimps communicate by gestures, this is the first time anyone's bothered to work out what they're saying.
According to Dr Hobaiter, the gestures have the same meaning whoever uses them, which means they work like a conventional human language.
There is still, however, work to do. The some of the gestures seem to have several different meanings, but this might be because there are subtle differences that haven't yet been spotted by humans.
Here, as a public service, are a few bits of chimpanzee.
Groom me - big loud scratch.
Move yourself - directed push; beckon.
Move away - arm swing; hand fling; jump; object shake; punch object or ground; punch other; slap object.
Hmmm...you know something? That all sounds very like human to me.
Perhaps I don't need a chimpanzee dictionary after all.
But I still want one.
Thing To Do Today: say something in chimpanzee. The word chimpanzee comes from a dialect of Congo.