Garden Jargon, Quiz 2

Broncos game_DSCF0222The previous garden jargon quiz was so much fun, we’re doing it again. In case you missed the explanation last time, here it is again. (If you remember the previous quiz, just skip ahead.)

How well do you know your gardening terms? As with most groups of people with a specific hobby or occupation, those who garden have a specialized vocabulary—our garden jargon. We often use words that other people might not understand—or will they?

I’ve taken a series of gardening terms that have other meanings not related to gardening. For example, a bed can be a place we sleep—or a landscaped area, often filled with flowers.

Continue reading “Garden Jargon, Quiz 2”

Do You Speak “Twitcher”?

Birders_ChicoBasinRanch-CO_LAH_4990-001Are you a birder? Do you speak English? I would have answered “yes” to both questions, until I saw some lists of British birding terms. Apparently, I speak American, not English. I’m familiar with “twitcher” as a seriously (some say extremely) competitive birder who keeps a life list (and probably several others as well). And I’ve heard the word “jizz” (which comes from GISS, as in General Impression of Size and Shape) used to describe a way of quickly identifying birds. However, I had no idea what most of these words meant, at least in the context of birdwatching.

Yes, you guessed it. I have a list of a ten British birding terms. How many can you correctly define? I should add, “without using the internet”—no cheating! And before the complaints start pouring in, yes, I’m aware that some of these terms are no longer in general usage, although my sources online didn’t mention which ones are obsolete.

Continue reading “Do You Speak “Twitcher”?”

Quiz: Garden Jargon

Garden Bed?
A Garden Bed?

How well do you know your gardening terms? As with most groups of people with a specific hobby or occupation, those who garden have a specialized vocabulary—our garden jargon. We often use words that other people might not understand—or will they?

I have an interesting little quiz for you today. I’ve taken a series of gardening terms that have other meanings not related to gardening. For example, a bed can be a place we sleep—or a landscaped area, often filled with flowers.

I’ve picked ten such words plus an extra-tricky bonus word. They have a “normal” meaning, and also a specific, garden-related definition. I’ve given you the definitions that don’t pertain to plants. Can you come up with the garden-related word? Extra points if you know what it means in a garden context. The answers will appear Monday at the end of the article.

Continue reading “Quiz: Garden Jargon”

An Anthropologist’s Take on Birders: Part 2

birding_venetucci_20090916_lah_06671If you missed Part 1, I’m summarizing some observations made by our daughter, the anthropologist, about our birding tribe.

Language

Any interest group will have it’s own special vocabulary, and birders are no different. For example, there’s a difference between birdwatchers, birders, and listers (or twitchers, if you’re British). Each word has its own nuance. “Birdwatchers” are recreational birders, enjoying birds wherever they find them but not really going out of their way or keeping track of what they’ve seen. They may actually have the most fun, since there’s no pressure and they take the time to really look at the birds they see.

Continue reading “An Anthropologist’s Take on Birders: Part 2”

An Anthropologist’s Take on Birders: Part 1

birding_venetucci_20090916_lah_0667Anthropologists, being scientists, are good at taking complex topics and breaking them down into manageable pieces. Whereas my husband views birders as nice-but-slightly-eccentric people, our anthropologist daughter dissects us into pieces—clothing, rituals, language, and the like. I took notes and came up with this list. Although our daughter is not, herself, a birder, I think she knows us pretty well. What do you think?

Clothing
t-shirt-boobiesThe first thing most “normal” people notice about a group of birders is what we’re wearing. A floppy hat is essential for keeping the sun out of our eyes and preventing sunburn. A few hat pins are acceptable decoration, especially if they’re from exceptional birding locations. Beige or green pants and shirt are popular, as are vests with lots of pockets. Tennis shoes are fine, but comfortable hiking boots are preferred. Practicality trumps fashion, but we do have a dress code: nothing flashy, blend in with your surroundings, be prepared to be outdoors. A t-shirt with a bird on it is good, and you get extra points if the design is funny.

Continue reading “An Anthropologist’s Take on Birders: Part 1”