Did Joe ride a Harley?


As an insular pensioner I'm denied the stream of solecisms that keep JD amused in the engine room we used to share, but now and again new (to me) words do enliven my retirement.

For example, while spending an enjoyable day labouring for a pal who's a plumber last week I learned the true meaning of 'noggin' (which I'd previously known only as archiac slang for head). Noggins, it transpires, are the horizontal strips of wood nailed between the uprights in stud walls. Unless you're a Scot, in which case they're known as 'dwangs'.

From one of Mrs Apus's TV programmes on antiques I learned that a sliding piece of wood that supports a drop-down flap is a 'loper', while a TV panel show revealed that nicotine is named after Monsieur Nicot, who introduced tobacco to France.

And, in a documentary about the invention of the printing press, I learned that 'striking a matrix' is the term that described hammering a hand-carved steel letter into softer metal to make a mould, while these steel originals were held over candle flame to make them sooty and pressed onto scrap paper to make a 'smoke proof'. It's a good thing that the advent of computer technology did away with all those obscure terms...

By the way, while hunting down a pic of Johannes Gutenberg I came across this sculpture of the great man, which seems to prove he rode a Harley.

2 comments:

Flug said...

Good morning to you,

I was amused while I read this short text! It seems that we agree about the same things.

Every day we have the chance to learn something new, if we want to get more input :-)
I started to laugh, when you wrote how Mr. Nicot introduced tobbaco to France!
I was laying on the ground, when I imagined how Johannes Guttenberg would look on a bike- especially a Harley Davidson!!!

At least you are absolutely right, if you speak as an insular pensioner! I hope that you will have fun in the further time!

Have a nice day

Harry said...

Well, someone's going to say it, so it might as well be me. That chap in the picture? He looks 'stone'ed... Arf arf arf...