Posts by Max Cryer

Max’s Dogs – Spaniels

Dog Jacket To the New World… Only two dogs are known to have sailed from England in the Mayflower with the Pilgrim Fathers to North America. A detailed account of the journey published in 1622, Mourt’s Relation, by Edward Winslow and William Bradford stated: ‘John Goodwin and Peter Brown having a great Mastiff bitch with them and a little Spaniel.’ Apart from the mastiff and the spaniel, no other dog appears in the account of the emigrants.

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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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