This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 1 May 2020

Word To Use Today: cushie-doo.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the Scots for hundreds of superbly punchy and powerful words.

Who could fail to be galvanised by the information that a sassenach in a scuipit bunnet is scungeing with a scoosher?*

And then there's cushie-doo, which is not, as most English people might guess, a very pleasant party, but one of these:

File:Columba palumbus -garden post-8.jpg
photo of a wood-pigeon by Tristan Ferne

Yes, a pigeon. You get them all over the place. Some of them are really magnificent:  

File:Victoria Crowned Pigeon RWD4.jpg
Victoris Crowned Pigeon. Photo by DickDaniels (

and some of them are very rare:

File:Pink Pigeon RWD4.jpg
pink pigeon. I'm hoping this is the Mauritian one. This photo is also by Dick Daniels, as above

In London pigeons tend to be referred to as flying rats; but then perhaps the pigeons in Scotland are more adorable and less germ-ridden than most.

I'm rather fond of a cushie-doo, myself: they are ridiculously pleased with themselves, and they make a pleasant noise. 

I suppose they're rather like politicians...

...well, except for the pleasant noise they are, anyway.

Word To Use Today: cushie-doo. This means specifically a wood-pigeon in Scotland, but I don't see why the word shouldn't be used for other kinds of pigeon. Cushie comes from cushat, from the Old English cūscote, which is perhaps something to do with sceōtan, to shoot (poor cushie-doos!). Doo is Scots for dove.

*An English person in a peaked cap is prowling about with a water pistol.

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