Rhyme and Reason: December 10, 2012

And so at Easter time I would like to take it upon me to unburden myself of another word. Rather rare, it comes from the old Urgic dialect of the tundra, used in the fourth century by the Lappish community that settled near Helsinki after the great Herffteld thaw of AD 342. The word is Hevelspending, it is a noun and it means ‘the gasp made by one who, walking in the morning smells spring in the air for the first time after a long winter’. We in Britain have a word ‘mugger’ that means exclusively ‘one whose profession is to stop others in the street and forcibly to relieve them of their possessions’ and the Lapps have a word meaning ‘the gasp made by one who, walking in the morning, smells spring in the air for the first time after a long winter’. Hevelspending. Do you know sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, it may just be the wild anarch in me, but I can’t help wondering whether perhaps – oh, I don’t know. Still, that’s just the contemplative mystic in me, I suppose.

Stephen Fry, Paperweight

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s