Monday, 25 November 2013

Warwickshire Ghosts

My last book of ghost stories appeared in 2011, Paranormal Staffordshire my fourth of this genre. I have always enjoyed re-telling the experiences of others, the settings and background to each I find equally as interesting as the event itself. As another couple of books are in the pipeline, no publishing date yet, I thought it time to throw appeal for personal experiences in the county of Warwickshire.

To whet the appetite I offer the following taster of what is to come with the story of John Smith from Gaydon.

While it is not true today, John has certainly been the most common male christian name overall. As a surname Smith remains the most common. Thus logically the most common man’s name is John Smith. Those who argue this is not the case as they have never met anyone called John Smith and that Mr and Mrs Smith would never call their son ‘John’ have clearly never been to Gaydon or the Gaydon Inn.

Once the pub was the headquarters for an infamous bunch of ruffians who had justifiably earned a reputation as thugs and thieves. Their leader was no other than one John Smith. Yet when he was caught and hanged the problems refused to go away, at best a temporary lull ensued until his son stepped up to continue in his father’s footsteps. He not only continued the family tradition but also continued the family name for he was John Smith Jnr. Again he followed his father in being caught, and eventually followed him in being tried at Warwick and hanged there.

First his captors took the wise step of holding him prisoner in the Gaydon Inn. To attempt the journey during the hours of darkness would doubtless have resulted in the rest of the gang freeing him within the first mile or two. His ‘accommodation’ for the night was the inn’s attic. Here, in 1789, John Smith Jnr spent some of his last hours carving his initials in a roof beam. The following day he was taken to Warwick where he met the same fate as his father. Well, almost the same.

A woman by the name of Elizabeth Beere had followed him to Warwick. They had been lovers for some years and, as with any girl who had lost her heart to the bad guy, his death was no barrier and she steadfastly refused to abandon him. Normally the body would have been taken back to Gaydon, the scene of his misdemeanours, where he would be hung from a gibbet. The body would rot and, as flesh and bone broke away from the stinking corpse, would serve as a warning to others who may be tempted to break the law.

Elizabeth Beere was determined this would not happen to her beloved John and begged his body should be returned to her for why should she suffer the sight of his rotting remains when she had done nothing wrong? Eventually her argument won the day and she was permitted to dispose of the body as she saw fit. Obviously Elizabeth was quite certain she would be successful for she had brought a donkey with her to Warwick for the sole purpose of transporting the corpse of John Smith Jnr back to his home.

Elizabeth walked back to Gaydon, leading the donkey with its unusual load. The body was buried, although whether it was granted a grave in consecrated ground is unknown as there is nothing recorded. Perhaps one clue that it was not given a Christian burial is found in the attic of the Gaydon Inn. Over the succeeding two centuries many reports have spoken of footsteps heard as if someone was pacing the attic which, when examined, was found empty.

Is this the restless soul of highwayman John Smith Jnr? And is that the sound of him as he continues to carve his initials into the wooden beam?

I would welcome any suggestions for themes or subjects, or even specific words to examine the origins, meanings and etymologies. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Origins of English Place Names

This week saw me complete negotiations for more books on the origins of place names. These, together with previously released volumes, mean I will have penned and published something on every English county by the time the last of these is released by the summer of 2014. I make no apologies for taking this opportunity to define the names of the counties and include a shameless plug for each volume and include a link to each. The list appears in the same chronological order these books were and/or wiil be released.

My first book was Staffordshire Place Names in 1996. The county, as with so many names, simply adds Old English scir to the name of the county town. The Saxon ‘shire’ was an administrative region, created when they realised something was required between the hundred and the nation. When it comes to Stafford, we see two elements where staeth ford speaks of ‘the river crossing near the landing place’. It stands to reason the landing place would have been at the highest navigable point upstream, a place which would also have been shallow enough to ford. I should add that while this book is now out of print, there will be an e-book version out within the next few months.

Next came Warwickshire Place Names which is already available as an e-book. Another ‘shire’ attached to the name of the county town. Here we see Warwick from Old English waering wic or ‘the dwellings at the weir’.

Examining Worcestershire Place Names we see another scir or ‘administrative district’, this time following the city of Worcester, named as ‘the Roman stronghold of the Weogora tribe’. These Celtic peoples are thought to have been named as ‘the dwellers at the winding river’.

On to Derbyshire Place Names and the city of Derby. Here another scir with Old Scandinavian deor by telling of ‘the farmstead where deer are found’.

In Leicestershire and Rutland Place Names two counties were covered. With Leicester we see another Celtic tribe named. Although ‘the Roman stronghold of the people called Ligore’, again with scir, features a tribal name which has never been understood. In Rutland we have a place name which was adopted as the county name, this referring to ‘the estate of a man called Rota’.

South to yet another scir and Oxfordshire Place Names with the city of spires being named from far humbler beginnings, this ‘the ford used by oxen’.

My next volume was Shropshire Place Names and a county town where pronunciation will never be agreed, at least not by Salopians. So we will ignore Shrewsbury and define Shropshire and find another scir or ‘administrative district’. The first element comes from Old English scrob meaning ‘scrubland’, thus correctly it should be Shrobshire, although the question of where this ‘scrubland’ was found remains. The answer is the county town, for Shrewsbury began as scrob’s-bury and shows why it should be pronounced Shro- and not read as Shrew- for it is the spelling of Shrewsbury which is in error and as a wise professor once told me, no name was ever mispronounced before the people could read. I am already aware the ‘correct’ pronunciation is becoming less popular and already I am wondering when the ‘incorrect’ form will become the accepted version.

No such problems when tackling Nottinghamshire Place Names where this scir suffixes the city named as ‘the homestead of the family or followers of a man named Snot’. Whilst I’m sure the residents would not appreciate the initial ‘S’ being reinstalled, they might be interested to learn the name refers to Snot’s followers, not Snot himself. Thus it is likely he was never here and this settlement may well have been named posthumously.

With Hampshire Place Names the county town is Southampton, this recorded simply as Hamtun in 825 and telling of ‘the farmstead of the hemmed-in land or promontory’. The question of why ‘south’ was always answered with Northampton being on the other end of a ancient trade route. While there may have been a regular supply of goods along a road, this is not the correct Northampton, that is in Hampshire although, for reasons nobody has ever understood, that suddenly changed the suffix and is today known as Northington.

Sharing a suffix with other Roman strongholds, the name which resulted in Gloucestershire Place Names comes from ‘the Roman stronghold called Glevum’, this a Celtic place name meaning ‘bright place’.

No scir for Dorset Place Names although it is derived from another major settlement within its borders. Today known as Dorchester, the county name simply an abbreviated version, telling of ‘the Roman stronghold known as Durnovaria’. As with the previous name this is a Celtic place name describing ‘place with large pebbles’.

Back to the suffix scir or ‘administrative district’ for Northamptonshire Place Names. As we have seen this has nothing to do with Southampton and does not share the same meaning. Here ‘the northern home farmstead’ distinguishes it from other ham tuns much closer to home.

No scir for Somerset Place Names and yet, like neighbouring Dorset, is based on a local place name. Here the county speaks of it being that of ‘the settlers around Somerton’, itself telling of its humble beginnings as ‘the farmstead used only in summer’.

The large county of Devon, covered in two volumes by firstly South Devon Place Names and the forthcoming 2014 release of North Devon Place Names, has no scir today but did originally. Here is ‘the administrative district of the Devonians or Dummonii’.

Another two volumes were released for the southeast county of Sussex, now officially split in two and covered by East Sussex Place Names andWest Sussex Place Names. As with the other counties sharing this suffix the reference is to the Saxons, here is ‘the territory of the south Saxons’ – now correctly, and rather confusingly, the east south Saxons and the west south Saxons.

Another scir is found in Herefordshire Place Names where we find ‘the administrative district of the ford capable of carrying an army’. Note the relevant part is ‘capable’, for Hereford does not tell us an army was marching back and forth but says it was of good size and solidly built.

With the county town of Chester leading to Cheshire Place Names, this is ‘the administrative district of the Roman stronghold’ from Old English caster scir.

With Buckinghamshire Place Names we see Old English inga hamm and a Saxon personal name speaking of ‘the administrative district of the hemmed-in land of the family or followers of a man called Bucca’.

North to the find Cambridgeshire Place Names and ‘the administrative district of the place at the bridge over the River Granta’ otherwise known as the Cam – this odd change is entirely down to Norman error.

Down south and another large county split into East Kent Place Names and West Kent Place Names. As a name, Kent has never really been understood. Clearly it is different from other counties and this is down to it once being a Saxon kingdom in its own right, although the name is certainly Celtic. Possibly this is ‘the coastal district’ but an origin of ‘land of the hosts or armies’ can also be seen.

Back to the scir for Bedfordshire Place Names and ‘the administrative district of the ford of a man called Beda’.

Another scir in the Home Counties and Hertfordshire Place Names where ‘the administrative district of the ford frequented by harts’ is the origin.

On the east coast is the large county covered by Lincolnshire Place Names where we find the Roman influence once more. Here the city dominated by its cathedral gives us ‘the administrative district of the Roman colony by the pool’. That ‘colony’ was for retired legionaires.

Publishing in early December 2013 Berkshire Place Names is an oddity in being a scir but without a town called ‘Berk’. Here the term describes the region as ‘the administrative district of the hilly place’, what we know as the Berkshire Downs.

Appearing in early 2014 Surrey Place Names is no scir but comes from Old English suther ge and tells of ‘the southern district’.

Another early 2014 release is Essex Place Names which, as with Sussex, speaks of itself as ‘the territory of the East Saxons’.

Set for the spring of 2014 Middlesex Place Names covers ‘the territory of the middle Saxons’.

Another scir and Lancashire Place Names will be out early next year. Here the basis is the town of Lancaster, thus this ‘the administrative district of the Roman stronghold on the River Lune’ – where the river name is understood as ‘healthy, pure’.

Spring 2014 will see Cumbria Place Names which is a modern county name based on an eighth century record speaking of ‘the territory of the Cymry or Cumbrian Britons’.

The Scilly Isles are covered in the 2014 release of Cornwall Place Names. As with the previous name, this refers to the native Celtic peoples in ‘the territory of the Cornovii tribes’.

Another new county in a 2014 release is Isle of Wight Place Names where the island, so often said to refer to the ‘white’ chalk lands, is from a Celtic word speaking of ‘the place of the division’, that the two channels between here and the mainland known as the Solent. Note the name Solent has never been understood, although it has been given to the river which eroded this valley in the millennia before our islands were severed from mainland Europe with the rising of sea level at the end of the last Ice Age.

Spring of 2014 will also see the release of County Durham Place Names where the word ‘county’ is added to differentiate between the city and the shire. Here is the dun holmr or ‘hill of drier land in the marsh’.

Also available in early 2014 is the neighbouring county covered by Northumberland Place Names and another scir in all but name. This former Saxon kingdom was much larger than the present county and it is that kingdom of ‘the territory of the Northhymbre’ or ‘those living north of the Humber’ which has led to the modern name.

Also publishing in May 2014 is Suffolk Place Names and ‘the territory of the southern people of the East Angles’.

Spring 2014 and Wiltshire Place Names and ‘the administrative disctive of Wilton’, the town itself ‘the farmstead near a spring or stream’.

In the summer of 2014 we will see four volumes for Yorkshire. The county town of the original county giving us ‘the administrative district of the yew tree estate’. Not only the vast area covered by the original county but the tremendous number of small settlements means one volume would be very heavy and very expensive. Eventually it was decided to combine the three ridings and three counties to produce four volumes entitled North Yorkshire Place Names, South Yorkshire Place Names, East Yorkshire Place Names, and West Yorkshire Place Names

Finally towards the end of 2014 Isle of Man Place Names will appear. True this is neither a scir nor a county but a place I wanted to write about and to examine its place names. The island’s name is thought to be derived from an early leader by the name of Manu, although traditionally this was said to be named after the fabled Irish sea deity Manannan mac Lir.

I would welcome any suggestions for themes or subjects, or even specific words to examine the origins, meanings and etymologies. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Sunday, 10 November 2013


When Munzly suggested I look at the origins of some trade names I felt sure I had covered the subject before. A quick search and I find my memory was a little off, for it was not a blog but a crossword produced many years ago. On the subject of crosswords, the only writing challenge I accepted but failed to meet was when a magazine asked for a 15x15 grid where every answer was related to tobacco and smoking. While I saw it as a near impossible task I could not resist trying. In fact I found it easier to quit smoking than I did the challenge.

As the subject of trade and product names is vast, I decided to opt for just 26, one from each letter of the alphabet. These were chosen mainly because they have been on the shelves for such a long time and because I found the product name of interest, and not because I’m being sponsored by any of them (yet). For the first I did consider using ACME, which everyone will recognize as the name stamped on every package sent to Wile E. Coyote and containing any number of items he hoped would see an end to the abysmal Road Runner. Yet many years before Warner Brothers produced the first cartoon featuring this duo, the name had been used by a Birmingham company, J Hudson and Co soon after it was founded in 1883. This firm produced whistles. Included in the range was the famous police whistle, referees whistles, and even an attempt to fool Japanese soldiers in the Asian jungles in thinking they were being stalked by tigers – the sound was realistic enough, as I witnessed, its failure was down to the rattling noises made when transporting the large metal item which looked nothing like a whistle. Of particular interest to us here is the Acme Thunderer, a whistle which uses the Greek acme meaning ‘high point’ to suggest this was the epitome of whistles. Today such names would never be allowed, unlike the following.

Atora – which makes such wonderful things as steak and kidney pudding, is the shredded fat from a bull. Initially the company’s supplies came from South America where the Spanish for ‘from a bull’ was a toro and the name was born.

Britvic – although the company no longer exists their juices the produced still have the name derived from British Vitamin Products.

Cherry Blossom – it always seemed an odd choice for shoe polish with an aroma nothing like that of the flower of the fruit tree. As a name it was used for a soap, suitably perfumed, and sold in a tin by the Chiswick Soap Company of London. The soap had been off the shelves for a reasonable period when the name (and apparently the tin) was revived for the name of the show polish.

Dettol – when this disinfectant was first produced in the 1930s it was going to be called Disinfectol, but this was considered too clinical and quickly abbreviated.

England’s Glory – was suggested by the trademark, that of the battleship featured on the front of the matchbox ever since it was first produced in 1870. Despite a number of changes of ownership, HMS Devastation still appears on the front and the message from the name is a patriotic one. It does strike me (pun intended) it was a good idea not to use the name of the vessel for the product.

Findus – began when two Swedish chocolate producers united as Fruit Industries, none of which produced anything fishy or frozen.

Gloy – a glue name suggested by gloia the Greek for ‘glue’.

Harpic – was a product named from its inventor, Harry Pickup, who registered the Harpic Manufacturing Company in 1924.

Indesit – was a trade name developed as an acronym from the manufacturer, Industria Elettrodomestici Italia (the Italian Domestic Appliances Industry).

Jubilee – the name of the hose clip is often said to have been inspired by a jubilee when the product was launched and yet 8th February 1929, the launch date, is nowhere near any obvious jubilee and thus was probably named to suggest a prestigious occasion (one marked only by the appearance of a hose clip).

Kalamazoo – is a Birmingham firm which first used this as a product name when one of the owners brought back the loose-leafed binder from the USA with sole rights to producing this in Britain, the name of the company changed to Kalamazoo some time later in 1943.

Lion Brand – and a lesson to anyone when trying to market a product. I am often asked why there are so many pubs featuring oddly-coloured animals – the Red Lion is still among the commonest of pub names – and the answer was it is heraldic, the same as so many pub names. It made sense to use imagery when the written name was pointless as so many potential customers were illiterate. On the face of it using a lion as an emblem seems a reasonable idea, with different coloured lions showing the differing grades of paper. Yet it seems nobody bothered to point out to the owner, one John Dickinson, the illiterate would be unlikely to buy any writing paper.

Marmite – having written an article on this product some years ago I am fascinated by its history, although I do number among those who find the taste quite unpalatable. The name comes from the shape of the pot depicted on the label, this being a French vessel known as a marmite.

Nivea – is the feminine form of the Latin niveus or ‘snowy’. This points to colour and cooling properties of the cream, while also suggesting it keeps the skin of the user a similar colour.

Oxo – is beef extract, thus the ‘ox’ with the addition of the suffix ‘–o’ making it nicely symmetrical and an obvious product name.

Persil – while this is the French word for ‘parsley’ this is not the reason for the name, although it is the reason for a sprig of parsley being used as a trademark. The name comes from two ingredients in bleach and included in the original recipe, perborate and silicate.

Quaker Oats – the origin was never recorded but is said to have become obvious to American Henry D Seymour, a co-founder of the company, when he found a reference to the Quakers in a book. The attributes of both the oatmeal and the religious group – purity, honesty, and strength – were seen as similar.

Radox – originally not a bath product but one used solely in a foot bath and said to come from ‘radiated oxygen’, which the manufacturers claimed was one of the advantages of using it.

Sindy – a doll first marketed in the 1950s and chosen from a shortlist of four as the most popular after a street survey. In truth the public voted for Cindy on the original list but the makers saw they could never register a popular girl’s name as a trademark and so tweaked the spelling.

Toblerone – was originally made by the Swiss chocolate company Tobler. Italian is one of the four official languages of Switzerland and –one (which should rhyme with minestrone) means ‘big’.

Umbro – comes from the company’s founders, the Humphreys Brothers.

Vick – named after North Carolina chemist Dr Joshua Vick. However he did not create the menthol gel, that was a former employee of his who later became his brother-in-law Lunsford Richardson who originally wanted to call it Richardson’s Croup and Pneumonia Cure Salve but changed his mind.

Wolseley – the car manufacturer employed the later founder of the Austin company, Herbert Austin who, until 1893, had been employed in Australia by the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Company.

Xerox – is from xeros, the Greek word for ‘dry’ and described the process of copying which had previously used liquids.

Yorkie – produced by Rowntree Mackintosh, whose headquarters were in the city of York.

Zebrite – originally marketed as Zebra from 1890 until it became Zebrite in 1952. It was used to on the grate, changing it from dirty to clean, a ‘black and white’ concept mirrored by the wrapper. The change in name put greater emphasis on the ‘bright’ idea.

As always I would welcome any suggestions for themes or subjects, or even specific words to examine the origins, meanings and etymologies. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Sunday, 3 November 2013


For the third week in a row the subject has been suggested by a reader, Munzly suggesting I have a look at some of the walls of the world and how the names developed. Two walls, historical boundaries between Roman-occupied Britain and the peoples to the north, were covered in a recent post. Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall were named after the Roman rulers at the time. Hadrian’s name means he was ‘from Hadria’, a town in northern Italy which also gave a name to the Adriatic Sea, while Antoninius is derived from the Greek for ‘flower’.

Having got this far it became clear I needed to understand just what a ‘wall’ is. This may sound a ludicrous idea but even the two examples above have little in common with a ‘wall’ as we would know it. In Hadrian’s Wall at least there is some evidence of ‘building’, albeit it follows a natural outcrop of rock to take reduce construction to a bare minimum. In the case of the Antonine Wall there is no recognizable ‘building’ but a large bank of stone and earth, which may explain why it took 12 years to complete but was abandoned just 20 years later. Hence as we are looking at ‘walls’ from an etymological viewpoint, for the purposes of identification a ‘wall’ is considered a ‘wall’ by virtue of its name only. This is also the reason for listing them alphabetically.

Anastasian Wall – found in Turkey and built to defend the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire and Constantinople from invading tribes coming from the east. Named after the Emperor Anastasius, ruler 491-518, it does show good evidence it was here in some form at least a hundred years before this. His name, the male version of the better-known Anastasia, means ‘resurrection’ and a reference to his religious background. Perhaps it is as well the wall did not adopt his nickname of Dicorus – (Biggus Dicorus?) – which, despite the reminder of the Monty Python character, comes from the Greek meaning ‘two-pupils’ and pointing to his differently-coloured eyes, one black and one blue.

Aurelian Walls – a third century AD construction around Rome, named after Emperor Aurelius whose name meant ‘golden’.

Cheolli Jangseong – historically is the 11th century construction in North Korea, although there is another of the 7th century in what is now China referred to by this name. The Korean wall is the origin of the name, it meaning ‘Thousand Li Wall’, the Li a unit of measurement roughly equal to 500 metres and itself coming from the average diameter of a village.

Great Wall of China - is not only the longest but the best known of them all. It was not built as one wall but joined together several others built over many years. As with Hadrians Wall it takes a natural defensive line. It seems the wall was never referred to by any name other than the Great Wall when it was joined up, the various smaller parts simply referred to as ‘the wall’ by those who built them. We often hear how this is last man-made object we can see as spacecraft retreat further from the planet. This was never true as it is a long line (or long lines before joined together) and would easily become invisible among the pyramids or temples. It is certainly not visible from the Moon, this particular gem of myth first appearing in writing in a letter by William Stukeley in 1754!

Danevirke – 20 miles of defensive earthwork across the Cimbrian Peninsular constructed duing the Viking age and last used for military purposes in 1864. Constructed in several phases which, with the aid of dendrochronolgy, shows it was completed around AD950 and started at least five centuries earlier. The name is easy to see as referring to ‘the earthwork of the Danes’ although, as with nearly all place names, this will have been named by the Germanic tribes and then taken by the Danes themselves. Had the Danes named this feature it would be known as ‘our earthwork’.

Fossatum Africae – is Latin for ‘the African Ditch’. Built by the Romans in North Africa, it is said to measure some 450 miles, although modern evidence is somewhat fragmented, and protected the Roman Empire’s interests having defeated the Carthagians. The defensive feature is an earthwork, the embankment created by using the earth moved in creating the ditch on the far side (from the point of view of the defenders) thus effectively doubling its height. The eagle-eyed will have spotted this is not a ‘wall’ but a ‘ditch’. However it has been included as from an etymological viewpoint they are the same thing. Here in Britain the Old English dic has given us both ‘ditch’ and ‘dyke’, the southern pronunciation as ‘ditch’ pointing to where the soil had been removed, the northern pronunciation of ‘dyke’ and where the spoil had been heaped up.

Kremlin Wall – strictly speaking I am not going back on my earlier statement that I would not define walls taking the name of the place it was meant to defend. For while we associate the name with one place, it should correctly be known as the Moscow Kremlin as the term is Russian for ‘fortress’ and this is not the only example. Note today’s Kremlin Wall can be traced back to at least 1169 when it was little more than a wooden palisade or fence. Somehow the ‘Fence in Moscow’ does not sound as daunting as ‘Kremlin’.

Long Walls – I included this name, despite its obvious meaning, because of its significance in history. In the fifth century BC these walls – the North Long Wall and the South Long Wall – formed a corridor between Athens and its port of Piraeus and Faliro during the Peloponnesian Wars between the city states of Athens and Sparta. Ignoring those portions of the walls which were really the defensive walls around the city of Athens and the ports, the Long Walls were, at most, just five miles in length.

Offa’s Dyke – the defensive earthwork between England and Wales was constructed in the eighth century between the Saxon kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh kingdom of Powys. Named after the Merican king Offa, it is known to the Welsh as Clawdd Offa – interestingly the name Offa means ‘king’.

Red Snake – is the name archaeologists give to the Great Wall of Gorgan in Iran, a reference to its shape and the colour of the bricks. At 120 miles in length it is known by several other names including its Persian name of Sadd-i-Iskandar meaning ‘the barrier of Alexander’ as Alexander the Great is said to have ridden through here when marching east. Other than the Great Wall of China it is the longest defensive wall known.

Serpent’s Wall – a 2nd century construction running across the Ukraine and built to keep out the Huns, Goths, and Visigoths. It is not a modern description of its course but derived from the enemy tribes’ association with the winged dragon or wyvern.

Wat’s Dyke - for a short distance the route mirrors that of Offa’s Dyke. This name has never been understood although as a personal name is certainly common.

Western Wall – the accepted international name for that part of Jerusalem most often known as the Wailing Wall but probably based on a misunderstanding. The term ‘Western Wall’ is found in an ancient document referring to the Old City Walls of Jerusalem, yet there is nothing to suggest this particular wall is the one being referred to. Its popular name of Wailing Wall is, of course, from the mourning of the destruction of the temple by those followers of the Hebrew faith. The Arabic name of el-Mabka similarly translates as ‘place of weeping’, while the alternative Arabic name of al-Buraq comes from the name of Muhammad’s winged steed Buraq who was tethered here.

There are many others named after the cities which they were designed to protect. Many of these I have covered in earlier posts on the origins of those place names and, in the case of those in Britain, try my books such as Cheshire Place Names in the case of Chester.

At the risk of being inundated with requests, as usual I would welcome any suggestions for themes or subjects, or even specific words to examine the origins, meanings and etymologies. I’d be delighted to hear from you.