This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 28 July 2014

Spot the frippet: something murine.

No one could pretend that murine is a nice word. How you think about murine creatures - well, opinions vary.

They have a habit of sneaking onto property that does not belong to them and doing their best to establish a permanent presence.

They have a habit of bringing with them dangerous items liable to harm, or even cause the death of, the inhabitants of the place.

They never ever accept any responsibility whatsoever for any damage they've caused.

They've been seen on every continent except Antarctica, are serious pests, and have killed off several entire populations.

They have a habit of eating their own young if disturbed.

They tend to be not quite hairy enough, often having naked tails.

Yes, that's right, you've got it. Something murine is a rat or a mouse.

Well, what else might it be?

Norway Rat
This is a Norway rat.

Spot the frippet: something murine. This word comes from the Latin mūrīnus, to do with mice, from mūs, mouse.

PS Adèle Geras has alerted me to the fact that Murine is a sort of eyedrop. Still, I don't suppose it could be made from rats, could it.

No. Of course not...


  1. Not a bit keen on rats but never heard this word before, I don't think...fascinating.

  2. I have mixed feelings about mice. Some of my fave fictional characters are mice but I am not happy when i see them in real life...either in the mouth of a cat or running about. Fortunately something I've only seen twice...

    1. That's interesting, Adele. You highlight the fascinating discrepancy between what we dream of in our fantasies and what we want in real life.
      If there's an overlap, it's often a surprisingly small one!