This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Thing Not To Do Today: rabbit.

Are you in the habit of rabbiting?

Or only of rabbiting on?

Rabbiting is shooting rabbits. It doesn't require much skill because rabbits come in groups, which makes them easy targets, and also because a hunter has a lot more fire-power than any number of rabbits. In English law you are only allowed to rabbit on your own land, or with the land-owner's permission.

I suppose that if the rabbits are a real, huge, existential threat then...

...well, you should probably have built a fence rather a long time ago.

Anyway, what about rabbiting on?

Rabbiting on is talking and talking and talking about nothing very interesting. It's nattering on without much passion or even much logic, just for the sake of filling a silence that might otherwise give someone the opportunity to do some thinking.

In fact...

...actually, I think it might be best if I stopped there.

Mightn't it.

Thing Not To Do Today: rabbit. The word for the animal might come from the Walloon robett, which is a diminutive form of robbe, rabbit. Rabbit meaning to talk on and on is rhyming slang, from rabbit and pork, talk.

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