This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Thing To Do Today: be a gricer.

Well, I expect you're a gricer anyway. It seems to be a natural instinct, like preferring not to sit with your back to the door and eating chips.

When I was very young, my gricing largely involved hoping that our train to London would be a steam train (yes, a gricer is a railway enthusiast) and that someone would forget to close the window before we got to the Watford tunnel. This last would result in our getting engulfed by acrid grey smoke, stung with burning cinders, and smeared with smuts.

Yes indeed, I did have an exceptionally dull childhood.

Anyway: is there anyone anywhere who can deny the romance of the train?

A gricer would probably already know that this locomotive was christened The Black Prince by the famous elephant portraitist David Shepherd**.


I thought not.

Diddle dee DEE, diddle dee DEE, diddle dee DEE...

Thing To Do Today: be a gricer. Electric trains aren't quite as glorious as steam trains, but even so they're surely* far more glamorous and magical than any other form of transport.

The word gricer, with the verb grice meaning to collect things or visit places connected with railways, arrived in English in the 1960s. It's said to be an imitation of the upper-class pronunciation of the word grouser, that is, a grouse-shooter.

*Note use of the word surely here to mean not surely at all.

**David Shepherd painted elephants: he wasn't, sadly, an elephant himself.

1 comment:

  1. I thought GRICE was what they shot up at Balmoral. So much I know! But what a lovely word and yes, I'm a gricer too. LOVE trains of every shape and size. Esp Eurostar. Esp. First class on Eurostar.