This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Balling out: a rant.

The ex-Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has annoyed and upset a lot of people in his time (as well as being rather a hero to quite a few).

While he was still Speaker there wasn't a lot the aggrieved could do about his behaviour (except complain bitterly); but now Mr Bercow is out of office the air is thick with feathers as a whole flock of chickens has come home to roost.

Poor Mr Bercow has three problems: first, the Speaker, upon retirement, is traditionally made a member of the House of Lords (so he'd be Lord Bercow of Edgeware, or something similar) and most of those now with the power of patronage detest him so much that they're doing everything they can to prevent such an appointment; second, his autobiography is attracting bad reviews; and, third, he is being investigated with great vigour by his enemies for allegedly bullying his subordinates when in office.

This account of Mr Bercow's angry outbursts appeared in the Telegraph online, 05/02/2020:

Discussing his treatment at the hands of John Bercow, Mr Leakey added that "he would be jumping up and down and balling out and shouting insults".

Hmm...yes, well, you can see that might be rather disconcerting, can't you.

Word To Use Correctly Today: bawl. To bawl means to shout loudly in anger. The word probably comes from the Icelandic baula, the noise made by a cow. 

The verb to ball means to make into the shape of a ball, which doesn't make sense in this context. 

So exactly what balls Mr Bercow was getting out I do not know - and certainly don't wish to enquire.


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