This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Haycocks: a rant.

Yes, here I am ranting about haycocks again.

Well, actually, this isn't so much a new rant as the end of an old one.

Ages ago I was reading one of Trollope's Palliser series of novels and there was mention of haycocks at the Duke of Omnium's London garden party. I was annoyed because although the note to the text told me what a haycock was, which I knew:

 it didn't tell me what on earth haycocks were doing at a garden party.

But now, having read a couple more of Trollope's books, I have come across the answer in The Duke's Children . The haycocks were there to provide a rustic area for lovers to walk around, and provide small amounts of privacy for...well, whatever lovers do when nobody's looking. Which, of course, no one knows because no one is looking.

"Come and take a turn among the haycocks," he said.
'Frank declares," said Lady Mabel, "That the hay is hired for the occasion. I wonder whether that is true."
"Anybody can see," said Tregear, "that has not been cut off the grass it stands upon."
"If I could find Mrs Montacute Jones I'd ask her where she got it," said Lady Mabel.
"Are you coming?" said Silverbridge impatiently.
"I don't think I am. I have been walking round the haycocks till I am tired of them."

Oh dear. Doesn't bode well for poor Silverbridge, does it?

Oh, but how gloriously satisfying to know about the haycocks at long last.

I think I can be happy, now.

Word To Use Today: hay. This word comes from the Old English word hieg and may have some relation to hew.

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