Thursday 1 June 2017


Via the ever intriguing Nag on the Lake, we are finding ourselves rather blown away to learn that the English language—especially idiomatically, was informed by a sixteenth century amateur falconer and sometimes playwright by the name of William Shakespeare, who peppered and punctuated his poetry and prose with phrases known intimately to hawk-fanciers. Under one’s thumb, wrapped around one’s (little) finger, Macbeth’s “scarfing the eye” as reference to hoodwinking—keeping the bird of prey with its eyes and head covered until ready to engage and prevent distraction, broadening the meaning of the term to rouse to mean to awaken, fed up to mean something more than surfeited and haggard to mean incorrigible all came into common parlance by way of the Bard’s pastime.