Posts by Max Cryer

Max’s Dogs – Canine inequalities…

Dog Jacket The lifestyle gap between rural dogs and their urban cousins is never more apparent than on a visit to a  city pet shop.  Apart from extensive shelves of  ‘dog toys’ there are also dog toothbrushes (attached to the end of a firm plastic finger  stall for the owner to administer), accompanied by beef flavoured toothpaste. There is shampoo and  conditioner in fragrances of chamomile and  strawberry.  A plastic  ‘peeing post’ treated with a pheromone,  persuades the dog to pee wherever you put the post – rather than where the dog might want it.

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Superstitions and why we have them

Drunkenness

Over time a number of preventions and cures have accumulated to deal with this common problem.  However there is sparse information about their effectiveness. Consider the following:

In the absence of any available pigs, slip an owl’s egg into the drink of someone who is already drunk.

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Curious words – (Out for a) duck

From Max Cryer’s  CURIOUS English words and phrases – the truth behind the expressions we use:

(Out for a) duck

 Cricket usually has a visual scoreboard and if a player leaves the field having made no runs,  a great big zero stands next to his or her name on the scoreboard.  A practice arose many years ago of referring to this  zero – because of its shape- as a duck’s egg, and this was shortened to just a duck. So if he or she was out for a duck, it means there was no score.

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“I will do thy bidding gently…”

Richard Wagner was  devoted to his King Charles spaniel named Peps, who  actually participated  in his master’s composing.

Wagner’s biographer H.T. Finck records that Peps constantly sat near Wagner when the composer was at the piano. Sometimes Peps would leap on to the table and peer into Wagner’s face, howling piteously.

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M’aidez or Mayday?

Max

From Max Cryer‘s  book ‘Is It True?’

The distress call ‘mayday’ is English for the French term m’aidez.

 Using the word ‘mayday’ dates from 1923, when a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport was asked to think of an easily understood  word which could indicate distress.

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