Sunday, 20 September 2015
Sunday Rest: dromedary. Word Not To Use Today.
Dromedary is a stumbling grumble of a word, which is most unfair as dromedaries are themselves so helpful and marvellous.
It's true that in the breeding season male dromedaries can get a bit awkward, snapping and wrestling and dribbling rather a lot; but then a dromedary in love also whistles and gurgles. How endearing is that?
Dromedaries are fascinating: they have two sets of eyelashes, very bushy eyebrows, extremely hairy ears, and they can close their nostrils. A female camel remembers the places where she and her children were born.
The absolutely least interesting thing about a dromedary is that it can run at up to 40 mph, and cover 93 miles in 20 hours. This being so, I can't imagine why they've ended up being named for their speed.
Especially when it gives the poor things such a lurching rumble of a name.
Word Not To Use Today: dromedary. This word comes from the Old French dromedaire (or perhaps from the Latin dromedarius), which means swift, and before that from the Greek dromados which means runner.
An early English form of the word was the rather lovelier drumbledairy. I think we'd all be happier if we went back to using that, don't you?