Taking a look at Onomatopoeia and Metaphor, Simile, Collective Nouns, and my Delusional Dictionary. For definitions of those, click here to read the introductory post to the series.
This week’s words:Natter, Nutty, Neverthriving, Nurse.
We all know people who natter; they’re the ones who chatter, gossip, enjoy the sound of their own voice and like to regale you with it, regardless of your interest or otherwise. But we can also use ‘natter’ in a metaphorical sense, describing the slightly irritating sound of something that repeats or continues without ceasing. In the peace of the night, when the occupant is trying to sleep in the house by the neighbouring stream, the brook that babbles in daylight could become the brook that natters through the night. See what you can create for this one.
Simile: As nutty as a fruitcake
Is a fruitcake always nutty? I’ve devoured many where nuts were absent, but we use the expression frequently. Is there another object or situation we can use as a simile to describe the same idea? Of course, we’re all familiar with the ‘nutty professor’, but that’s also an unreliable example as a guide to behaviour. Nutty in this sense describes a form of gentle insanity, a type of eccentric behaviour, rather than outright madness. Perhaps the situation could be described thus; ‘nutty as a squirrel’s cache/hoard’ though that hardly conjures the desired image. ‘Nutty as peanut brittle’? But, again, it lacks the ability to bring the right image to mind. Perhaps this is one situation where there’s no workable alternative. What do you think?
Collective Nouns: Neverthriving of jugglers
A neverthriving of jugglers: the picture this creates for me is of a large group of men and women crazily tossing clubs to one another, all looking a little impoverished. I suspect this collective noun may have been devised by the disapproving father of a young woman who’d become fond of a wandering juggler, who knows? But I enjoy it as a way of describing collections. Maybe we could apply it to other groups: a neverthriving of beggars, poets, buskers, and liars? Which groups can you apply it to?
As this is the ‘N’ example, I’ve also included a more common collective noun; that of ‘a nest of…’
Nest of beakers, crocodiles, eggs, hornets, machine guns, mice, pheasants, rabbits, snakes, vipers, wasps.
Delusional Dictionary: Nurse: a highly skilled carer respected by patients and peers but considered less worthy by surgeons and governments; a euphemism for a certain type of stripper; the fantasy woman for many old men; the children’s nightmare character charged with dosing them with unpleasant medicines.
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