This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 24 March 2017

Garganey: word to use today.

A garganey is a small and rather smart duck.  

Here's a male:

Garganey (Anas querquedula) RWD3.jpg

You get them in Europe (I was lucky enough to see one near the Thames the other day), Asia, Africa, India and Australasia - and you can get stray individuals turning up in America, too. 

Now, the thing is, in my Collins dictionary it says that the name garganey comes from the Italian dialect garganei 'of imitative origin'.

So your task, if you choose to accept it, it to imitate the call of a garganey duck.

Here's a recording of the actual duck to give you a clue as to the speed and pitch of the thing:

Of imitative origin?

Well, good luck with that one.

Word To Use Today: garganey. Wikipedia says that the word comes from the Lombard garganei (so far agreeing with Collins), but Wikipedia says that garganei the plural of garganell and comes from gargala, or tracheal artery. 

Good grief, and I thought that no explanation could be less convincing than the imitative origin one. 

Wikipedia also says that it's the garganey's scientific species name, querquedula, that's believed to imitate its call. 

But just who believes it, Wikipedia is too sensible to say.

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