Fuel for old fossils

With the current government in power I have been champing at the bit to bandy about some thoughts on the flotsam and jetsam that have been elected. I don’t wish to make much ado about nothing, but I am not prepared to let bygones be bygones, I have decided?to examine the whole shebang?with great vim and vigour.

Since time immemorial politicians have avoided getting their just deserts when the average voter, your kith and kin, would rather that they were hoist by their own petard so that we could finally say good riddance to some of the ratbags.

How often have you wished that they were given the short shrift at your behest?

By dint of the way that our political parties operate, they are often at loggerheads with one another, trying to eke out some advantage or getting in high dudgeon over some comment or other.

Many of us would like our politicians to be at our beck and call, but instead they run helter skelter, to and fro,?hither and yon, up and down the country and we are left wondering about their moral turpitude and what exactly is in the offing.

Our politicians wend their way, across the country, either leaving voters in the lurch or riding roughshod over their wishes by promising everything to everyone. They then, with amazing sleight of hand, manage to do the exact opposite.? It is no wonder that the public takes umbrage with the politicians’ performance, but there is no significant hue and cry.

Especially after the recent election result where the losers won, we wonder what God has wrought as we wait with bated breath to see the long term outcome for a country led by a woman who has given birth to a child out of wedlock after she succumbed to a come hither look from her man.

Some on the left think that everything is in fine fettle and all is spick and span just like it was in days of yore.

From their coign of vantage, some on the right think things have gone all bandy legged and that those in power will?wreak havoc. Those on the right would prefer,?without further ado, that the next?neap tide?wash all the current government politicians out to sea where the Greens could spend their time protecting loggerhead turtles from plastic, possibly by constructing wrought iron enclosures around the oceans.

Congratulations if you have made it through that doggerel. There was a point to it all.

The highlighted words are all known as fossil words. And, hopefully, are all the known fossil words.

A fossil word is a word that is broadly obsolete but remains in current use due to its presence within an idiom (in italics). You can search hither and thither?and not find the words in bold used in any other context than the way they have been used above.

In point of fact, “a?case in point” is a fossil phrase, as opposed to a fossil word.

There are also “born fossils”, created from other languages etc. For example: caboodle, as in “kit and caboodle” (a “born fossil” in that “kit and caboodle” evolved from “kit and boodle”, which itself was a fixed phrase borrowed as a unit from Dutch kitte en boedel)

Another is?tarnation, as in “what in tarnation…?” (a “born fossil” in that it evolved only in the context of fixed phrases formed by mincing of previously fixed phrases that include the term “damnation”)

Lurch from left to right comes from nautical vocabulary while the lurch you get left in comes from an old French backgammon-style game called lourche.

Hue as in the colour?comes from the Old English word?hiew, for “appearance.” The hue in ‘hue and cry’ comes from the Old French?hu?or?heu,

If you did not know all that before, consider yourself educated.

This has been another free community service, brought to you by Whaleoil.