This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Saturday Rave: The Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford.

I was a Womble once.

It was blazing day in June, and my friends Candice and Ruth and I dressed ourselves up in borrowed fur coats, padded ourselves with pillows, and put on furry ears and masks complete with ping pong ball noses. 

I was Tobermory, and had borrowed a bowler hat from the local bank manager.

I remember three things about that performance. Firstly, the incredible, brain-melting heat; secondly, the look of awe and wonder on one little girl's face; and thirdly, the fact that someone decided our performance area looked a mess while we were changing and tidied away every single prop just before we made our grand entrance.

Elisabeth Beresford invented the Wombles, and her books about them are lovely.

Some...[Wombles] spend a long long time looking at all the different parts of the world to find out just what will suit them [as a name], and some of them merely shut their eyes tight and point and hope for the best.
Which is how Bungo got his name.
"Serve you right," said Great Uncle Bulgaria.

And Wombles pick up litter, too. What's not to like?

Word To Use Today: Womble. This word was inspired by a kniferism. One of Elisabeth Beresford's young children, on a walk on Wimbledon Common, referred to it as Wombledon Common.
And the rest is history.

Wombling, by the way, is a method of looking at places where things are changing very quickly. It's been used to look at changes in language and in genetics. This word is named after its developer, William H Womble


  1. Lovely to think of you as Tobermory! And that tune, the theme of the tv Wombles gets into your head and REFUSES to budge. That's my weekend set to music now!

  2. The Wombles of Wimbledon -
    Common are we!

    As it always goes in my mind.

    The middle UNCLE BULGARIA bit is jolly tricky on the recorder, as many of my pupils can attest!