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Sometimes words appear that are just begging to be used…Here are two:

 

“Skylarking”

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“Scuttlebutt”

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Yes, to know more requires the DOOR…

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[MORE]

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   A skylark is a Eurasian or North African bird, of course, but as a verb, “skylarking” has a nautical origin from the 17th century. It refers to the act of sailors running around–bored, or showing off perhaps–on the rigging of a sailing vessel in port. It evolved far earlier than a handheld smartphone as a metaphor for passing time by playing tricks or practical jokes or engaging in “horseplay” (another metaphor).

   A scuttlebutt was a water cask on a ship. Since sailors exchanged gossip when they gathered at a scuttlebutt to drink, it became a familiar term for gossip or rumors, or someone who purveyed them. Scuttlebutt is also the name of a children’s picture book (a favorite of mine) about a stray dog (named “Scuttlebutt”) with broken hind legs that was picked up and taken aboard a WWII battleship. When splinted and mended, Scuttlebutt became a popular mascot for homesick sailors on the ship. An interesting introduction to American war history for children.

   Two words that are great metaphors, I feel, for modern use.

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   Sources:  Skylarks and Scuttlebutts: A Treasure of Nautical Knowledge by Lorenz Schröter (translated by Alan Bauce [from German?],Granta Books, London, 2007. Also using the online OED dictionary and recalling personal memories.