Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Puddle-Ducks and Cats

It has been brought to my attention (Thank you, Grandma Kc!!) that I may have confused you the other day when I used the term puddle-duck...  

I can only excuse myself by saying that I was feeling particularly mellow after a wonderful family weekend of company and an especially good brunch of cornmeal pancakes.  

Anyway, to clear up any confusion, here's what "puddle-duck" means.  It truly is a great expression!  Here's how I used it.

..."This morning, we had a late brunchie breakfast after puddle-ducking around in our jammies. (That's the best part of a long weekend!!)"...

You probably get the general drift of how we spent most of the morning lounging around and chatting, having a second (or third!) cup of coffee, etc.  

"Laze around" would probably be the best substitute...

laze |leɪz|
verb [ intrans. ]
spend time in a relaxed, lazy manner : she spent the day at home, reading the papers and generally lazing around.

If "puddle-duck" had not popped into my head, I might likely have used the expression "mulch around" but that must be Canadian as well for the only definition for that word in my dictionary is...

mulch |mʌl(t)ʃ|
a material (such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil.

Note: There was definitely no mulch involved the morning we made the cornmeal pancakes!

Grandma Kc's remark did leave me a little befuddled.  Where exactly did puddle-ducking come from?  It must be my British roots.  A Puddle-Duck is actually a plain old duck and we all know how they love swimming around aimlessly in circles.  Then there's Beatrix Potter's Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck.  (We generally just think of Peter Rabbit when we think of Beatrix.)  A Puddle-Duck Racer is a kind of boat enjoyed in Britain.  Little children in the United Kingdom can take Puddle-Duck swimming lessons.  (Do only American children learn how to dog paddle?)  

Anyway, Grandma Kc, I'm a little tongue-tied now, so I'll mention in advance some other British expressions I've been known to use on occasion:

...the bee's knees - something great, wonderful or exciting.  "Well, isn't that the bee's knees!"

..."Oh, a man on a galloping horse..." - what my mother would say if I wondered someone would notice something slightly crooked, shabby or not perfect.  After all, if a man is galloping by on a horse, he's not going to be able to see ANYTHING closely!

..."six of one, half a dozen of another" - what I would say (as a mother) to my own kids.  It doesn't really matter WHICH one you pick! They're both the same! It doesn't make a difference. 

..."There's more than one way to skin a cat!"  - Oh, dear!  I don't actually use this one anymore.  It really just means there's more than one way to do something.  One of the first times I used this one outside of family, I realized people were taking me literally.  No, folks, I DO NOT skin cats!  I like cats!

Enough said!  Isn't language wonderful?  Have a great day, everyone!

Linguistically yours,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the explanation! I am going to have to figure out a way to use it in conversation! I'll impress the kids!