Germander Speedwell 

HEADERS AND STRETCHERS

British brickmakers, and the language of brickmaking and laying

"Soldiers, sailors, shiners and shippers -

Grit-particled, water-struck, sand-faced or salt-glazed

On lintels, dentils, squints and cills

Buttresses, plinths, parapets and balustrades ..."

(See full piece at bottom of page)

 

FREECYCLING

Selections from the online free offered/wanted listings scheme.

"Bubble machine, trampoline

Mosquito net, toothbrush heads

Dog tether, peacock feather

And model helicopter, all offered..."

 

SURGEON'S LIGHTHOUSE

The poetry of surgery and medicine.

"Anatomical snuff box, white coat hypertension

Slapped cheek syndrome, and the classic appearance of a ganglion..."

 

CHANGE RINGING

The language of bell-ringing.

"...Sally stroke, tail stroke, handstroke and ropesight

Bell cages, skeleton courses, steeple keepers, call-changes

Ringing records and counting places..."

 

SPEAKING STOPS

The language of pipe organs.

"Speakers, feeders, beaters, treadles, steppers and trackers;

Bird Whistle, Crash Cymbal

Tromba Bastarda, Dotzena Nazarda, Tibia Vulgaris and Vox Humana..."

 

DISARMED

The unique language of heraldry.

"...Bevelled, membered, beaked and belled

Glissant, trippant, caboshed and cowed.

Gorged, jessed, vested and cuffed

Volant, vulning, fructed and tufted..."

 

YOU!

A page of ways to berate a flighty young man (without recourse to the use of coarse language).

"You cad, you charmer, you charlatan, you chancer;

  You varlet, you enchanter, you downright disarmer..."

 

BLASTING BARNACLES

Dental terminology, taken out of clinical context.

" ...Temporo-mandibular dysfunction, interfering with enjoyment of luncheon..".

 

BICYCLE CLIPPINGS

Cycling terminology, sociology and simultaneities.

"...Punctures at junctions and punctuation at junctures.."

 

38 EUPHEMISMS FOR BEIGE

A collection of thirty-eight (so far!) misguided attempts by marketers to make beige appear desirable or evocative.

"Tan, natural, nude, nomad, camel, labrador..."

 

THE YOUNG PERSONS' GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA 

Music and instruments, real and misheard.

"Sackbuts and strumpets, crumhorns and serpents..."

 

SUITS YOU!

The (apparent) language of apparel.

"...Rigged in britches and wimples, skirtled in kirtles and filibegs..."

 

DISH OF THE DAY

Spoofs and spoonerisms of culinary language.

"...Spliced brawns and streaming squallops, herring impaired and cod wallops..."

 

LINGO BONKA

IKEA product names - innocent words in Swedish, but harsh or comical to the English ear.

"Klang, Frack, Kludd, Slabang..."

 

CITY of GUILDS

Livery companies of the City of London, both ancient and modern.  

"Tallow Chandlers, Merchant Taylors, Master Mariners and Air Navigators

Broderers, Brasiers, Painter-Stainers and Glaziers

International Bankers and Virginal Makers..."

 

FLOODLIGHTING

A list of genuine courses offered in London over the last few years; a tribute to the now extinct  course listing magazine, Floodlight.

"...Belly Dancing, Corset Making, Soft Furnishing and Weight Lifting;

     Fat Burning, Food Sculpturing, Calf Rearing and Meat Processing..."

 

THE TEASEL MAN IS COMING

A tribute to the use of the teasel in the woollen industry, and its 'sales rep', the Teasel Man.

"...The Teasel Man is leaving, with his carders' plant

     For the 'Riley Roller Raiser' can faster raise the yarn

     Like the willower and scribbler, the coner, the twister..."

Documents

All of Germander's pieces are listed here;  a few sample lines are given from each, and a few are shown in full at the end of each page. This first page includes all those on miscellaneous and general subjects. All the others are listed on separate subject pages - click on these links to get to them:

Place Names Flora and Fauna Nautical Aeronautical Headers and Stretchers