Words fascinate me as much as watching great basketball players perform over the years –I mean that because what, besides words, could be more fascinating than the performances of Elgin Baylor, Dr. J, Jerry West, Michael Jordan and Hot Rod Hundley.
And as I have told many times I read two pages of Ogden Nash every morning followed by two articles in old Goldenseal magazines that date back to 1983. Of course Ogden Nash loves to play with words, old ones, archaic ones, anything that might almost rhyme with a little doctoring sometimes. I have decided to enlighten you with words I have to look up every morning, not all, but the ones I find interesting and figure you will too. Is anyone reading this or am I talking to myself again?
ell–bet you thought you knew what this was, it is, but it is also an old English measure, mainly for cloth, of about 45 inches. Tis related to elbow by coming from elei(to bend). I figure it was the length of an average elbow decided by the English elbow nazi. Ogden said this with ell–“Reaching full stature, with ell tacked on ell.”
ort–scrap of food left from a meal. Nash enjoyed doing this with– “A mildewed batch of Grove Press orts.”
midden–from the Danish for muck + dynge(heap)–a dunghill or refuse heap(me too, I already knew this part). Midden is also short for kitchen midden and that was how Ogden used it in “a literary kitchen midden”
Stay tuned for more edification.