This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Friday, 10 August 2018

Word To Use Today: noddy.

This is a noddy (and a baby noddy):

File:Black noddy and chick.jpg
Black noddy and chick. Photo by Glen Fergus

And so is this:

Noddy Goes To Toyland 1949 cover.jpg
(Noddy is the one in the blue hat.)

A noddy can also be a fool or a dunce. (Pleasingly, the genus name for the bird, Anous, is Greek for stupid.)

Something that's noddy is easy even for a noddy to use or understand.

Then there are noddies, which are shots of a TV interviewer reacting to his interviewee, and a single example of this sort of shot is a noddy. This word is to do with the word nod, as in moving the head up and down.

If I use this word today then I'd probably choose to talk about the birds. Oh, the poor birds. The Brown noddy has the scientific name Anous stolidus. As we know, anous is the Greek for stupid - and, I'm afraid, stolidus is the Latin for stupid. 

In what way are noddies so foolish? Well, they are well-known for ignoring predators - even humans - to the extent that they can be picked up by hand from their nests.

To be fair, though, there really are a lot of them, so they must be doing something right.

Word To Use Today: noddy. Enid Blyton's character isn't very bright, but he's called Noddy because he nods a lot, which sets the bell on his hat ringing. The word meaning foolish used to mean drowsy, and is probably linked to nod, the head movement. The interview shots are based on the same idea.

Noddy meaning easy is marked origin obscure, but, as I've said above, it might be linked to the idea of so easy even someone stupid could use it.


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