This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 27 January 2017

Word To Use Today: Zugenruhe.

Everyone at The Word Den is surely a magpie when it comes to words, and Zugenruhe is a particularly bright and charming find, though admittedly more relevant to migratory martins than magpies.

Zugunruhe is a German noun, which means that technically you have to spell it with a capital letter. You say it TSOOgnROOa (with the g hard, as in magpie).

Zugenruhe is the feeling of restlessness experienced before and during a migration period, and it's particularly applied to birds. When their time for migration approaches birds will get very excited (especially around dusk), their sleep pattern will change, and they'll eat everything they can lay their beaks on.

How long Zugenruhe lasts depends on how long the birds' normal migration journey lasts - but even birds that don't migrate seem to feel some sense of Zugenruhe.

Humans feel it, too, of course, when the summer comes - or even at the first signs or even hope of spring.

Hang on, where's that holiday brochure...

File:House Martin (Delichon urbicum) (1).jpg
photo by Ken Billington of house martins in Austria.

Word To Use Today: Zugenruhe. This word is German. Zug means movement (and also tug, and train), ruhe means calm, and unruhe means restless.

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