Definitely Limericks by Rory Ewins

Gp-Gr

I says to my local GP,
“Doctor, doctor, I think I’m a tree!”
Says the doc, “I’ll be brief—
Time to turn a new leaf.”
Then he fashions a table from me.

To post your epistle, just go
To the heart of the city, and show
Your sealed, addressed letter
To the clerk—as you’d better
Buy stamps—at the grand GPO.

Metrosexual bible GQ
Is compulsory reading if you
Want a monthly, slick fashion
Magazine with a passion—
A gentleman knows what to do.

You accuse my dear sister of gracelessness?
Your attack’s a disgrace in its baselessness!
Her posture and carriage
Are no bar to marriage:
The problem is really her facelessness.

What’s that? Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has already been done? Not in limerick form, my good sir.

In our grade school, the grade-schoolers play,
But are moms and dads happy? No way!
“Make ’em work till they cry!
Think of college!” That’s why
As their teacher I’m grading all day.

Grade school is a North American term for what in the UK, Australasia and South Africa would be called primary school: a school for the primary education of children from around the age of five until the start of high school. Broadly, it means an elementary school, but depending on local arrangements those can extend to grade five (age 10) or all the way to grade eight (age 13), which elsewhere might be considered middle school or junior high.

To know better their gods, Graeco-Roman
Adorers would watch for an omen:
From Olympus on high
Comes a bolt from the sky!
Oh, that Jupiter/Zeus, such a showman.

Graham flour, produced from whole wheat,
Makes a bread that it’s said can’t be beat.
Graham crackers, as well,
Have a wonderful smell;
They’re digestible—easy to eat.

Graham flour, named for the American dietary reformer Sylvester Graham (1794–1851), is a whole wheat or wholemeal flour coarsely ground from whole grains of wheat. Graham crackers, which are crispy, semi-sweet cookies, are similar to British digestive biscuits.

Of the multiple meanings of grainer,
This verse is a partial explainer:
A knife to take hairs
Off of skins; also, there’s
“One who grains”—I suppose a no-brainer.

On the railroad, a car called a grainer
Holds grain—it’s attached to a train. Or
For tanners, it’s poo.
And there’s printmaking, too:
Stone- and plate-graining types. Nothing plainer.

In the second sense above, a grainer is someone who paints in imitation of wood-grain, marble, or the like. It can also mean the brush or tool you’d use for it.

In printmaking, grain refers to the textured surface of a prepared lithographic stone or metal plate; someone who prepares such stones or plates is thus a grainer. The word can also refer to plate-graining machines, or to specific parts of them.

Then there’s the tannery sense, which is a bit crappy...

Once, tanners used excrement (ew!)
To treat leather, so urine and poo.
For example, this bate,
Grains or grainer was great
To provide flexibility. Coo!

Grainer was an infusion of pigeon dung once used by tanners to neutralize the effects of lime and give flexibility to skins. Dog dung was also used for leather bating (or abating, meaning softening), in which case it was known as pure.

A tree-dwelling critter’s arboreal,
And burrowing beasts are fossorial;
But what is the word
That was formerly heard
To describe wading birds? Grallatorial.

This adjective relates to an obsolete taxonomic order consisting of all shorebirds or waders, Grallatores. Its synonyms grallic and gralline relate to the order’s alternative name of Grallae. The order has since been replaced by Charadriiformes and Gruiformes.

Teaching simple grammatical rules
Is deficient today in our schools.
Take this principal’s letter:
“We could of done better.”
My five-year-old could have, you fools.

My son’s children? Oh my, they’re all grand:
There’s Charlotte, Amelia, and
Isabella, Sophia,
And Ella, and Mia,
And Harry. A few more than planned.

In the past, when one made the Grand Tour,
It signalled refinement—that you were
Quite rich, and a purist
For culture: a tourist
In thrall to all Europe’s allure.

The first so-called tourists in the 17th and 18th centuries were Grand Tourists, touring major cities and places of interest in any or all of France, Germany, Switzerland, and especially Italy. They were primarily young men of rank, and the Tour was seen as completing their education.

For a mellow grand touring car, he
Chose a yellow McLaren GT.
For such fellows, assuring
Their cars are grand touring
Says, “Hello, I’m rich—look at meeee!”

Grand tourers (also gran turismo, abbreviated and often designated GT) developed from touring cars and closed sports cars in the 1950s. The label generally signifies luxury cars designed for driving at speed on the open road in comfort.

Today, we think plagiarists crooks,
But to Grangerize—illustrate books
With engravings from others,
Whose art was another’s—
Was, strangely, no cause for cross looks.

Our digital age isn’t the first to see widespread copying and reuse of artwork. The 1880s saw several words coined around Grangerism, the practice of Grangerizing: that is, illustrating a book by adding prints and engravings, especially ones cut—literally—out of other books. Today, such interleaving of drawings, prints and other visual materials in a printed text is more often called extra-illustration than Grangerization, and the resulting books are described as extra-illustrated rather than Grangerized. The practice was named for James Granger (1723–1776), whose Biographical History of England from Egbert the Great to the Revolution (1769) was a favourite of early Grangerizers, but who wasn’t himself a Grangerite.

It bugs me, this “strawberry” custard:
My tongue says that claim can’t be trusted.
It tastes of vanilla.
You’ve added granilla
To dye it—cheap cochineal. Busted!

My granny resides in a flat
At the back of our house, with her cat,
Her collection of spoons,
And her Matt Monro tunes.
Why not stop for some tea and a chat?

My slavering maw is agape
At its sweet, oval, purple-skinned shape.
What a beautiful morsel!
No possible force’ll
Prevent me from peeling a grape.

Some red or green grapes in a bunch
Make a tasty addition to lunch.
If you let them ferment,
They can help you get bent—
Drinking grapes will take off, I’ve a hunch.

Graphemics, the study (in writing)
Of graphemes and glyphs, is inviting
For linguists who savour
Words’ sounds. Others favour
Graphetics: looks only. No fighting!

Graphemics is the linguistic study of graphemes, the smallest units of writing corresponding with sounds; a specific shape representing any particular grapheme in a given typeface is called a glyph. Graphetics, by contrast, is concerned with the physical properties of shapes used in writing, whether printed or handwritten.

The phonograph wasn’t that old
When new graphophone records took hold.
No more cylinders in
Flimsy sleeves made of tin:
Soon, refined wax on cardboard went gold.

Thomas Edison’s original phonograph captured sound via indentations on a sheet of tinfoil wrapped around a cylinder, producing recordings which were physically fragile and sounded terrible. Alexander Graham Bell and two colleagues improved matters considerably by replacing tinfoil with waxed cardboard, allowing a stylus to etch a groove in the wax to give far better sound. Their Graphophone, which debuted in 1887, was such an obvious improvement that Edison took them to court and created his own line of wax cylinders, setting the stage for the 20th-century recording industry.

Although the first gold records as we know them weren’t made until 1958, from 1902 to 1912 Edison’s brown wax cylinders were “gold-moulded”, so-called for the trace levels of gold applied as a conductive agent to the metal moulds (created from wax masters) used in their mass production.

“These fields full of forage seem close
To perfection, Fred—why so morose?”
“Half the plants on this grassland
Could harm a cow’s arse: land
Like this promotes flatulence.” “Gross.”

Merriam-Webster declares the gray lemming
Exists, but I’m hawing and hemming.
Other sources say no.
To the cliff edge I go:
Shall I jump, and risk others’ condemning?

Perhaps they’ll condemn me for using an obsolete noun for condemnation, but that word is in the Oxford English Dictionary, unlike gray lemming or grey lemming. Merriam-Webster says that the gray lemming is “a member of a genus (Myopus) of short-footed Old World lemmings, called also red-backed lemming”, but the OED has never heard of that either; it says that lemmings are “Myodes lemmus, of the family Muridæ”, in an entry not revised since 1902 (Myodes is a genus of voles now deemed obsolete). The Encyclopedia Britannica, meanwhile, says that they’re “any of 20 species of small rodents” across six genuses: Dicrostonyx, Eolagurus, Lagurus, Lemmus, Myopus and Synaptomys. Wikipedia agrees with the genuses but not the numbers of species in each. Neither encyclopedia shows a gray or red-backed lemming.

So let’s take Myopus as our lead, which Merriam-Webster says is “a genus of rodents comprising the Old World red-backed lemmings”. This genus has one species: the wood lemming, Myopus schisticolor. Schist, a type of rock, is generally grey in colour—as is the wood lemming, apart from the reddish fur on its back that helps it blend into the forest floor. You might even call it red-backed.

In the absence of further evidence, I’m saying that gray lemming and red-backed lemming are old names for the wood lemming. If they turn out to be the grey red-backed vole (Craseomys rufocanus, once known as Myodes rufocanus), which looks like the Norwegian lemming (Lemmus lemmus) only smaller, then I’m throwing myself off a cliff—unlike lemmings, which contrary to popular myth don’t actually do that.

In my garret (on top of my hovel),
I write my American novel.
Once it’s out, no debate,
You will see that it’s great!
Yes you will, all you doubters. Now grovel.

Does “penguins and polar bears” talk
From comedians and such make you balk?
Do you answer with “Actually...”?
Well, matter-of-factually,
They’re right, but they mean the great auk.

The original penguins weren’t the birds we know from the southern hemisphere, but great auks from the northern hemisphere, which had similar colouring and filled a similar ecological niche. Great auks, also called gare-fowls, would have been in a position to encounter polar bears (in cartoon settings or otherwise, such as around Newfoundland and Greenland) if they hadn’t become extinct in the mid-nineteenth century.

A house with a garden would seem
A bit much for the great Aussie dream
Of home-ownership now.
In apartments is how
We’re all living today. I could scream.

Owning a detached house on a quarter-acre block in suburbia has been the Great Australian Dream since the 1950s, but is increasingly out of reach for new buyers. Median house prices in Melbourne rose by triple the rate of increase in overall property prices in 2021.

Most patients don’t normally dare
Intervene in an argument where
A consultant and nurse
Are both shouting, or worse,
But you handled yourself with great care.

Mate, y’know what I reckon is strange?
That although we might think it’s small change,
Our Oz mountain chain’s not.
Of the ones the world’s got,
Number five is the Great Dividing Range.

The East Australian Cordillera of mountains, plateaus and hills running parallel with Australia’s east coast is the fifth-longest land-based mountain chain in the world, after the Andes, Africa’s Southern Great Escarpment, the Rockies, and (just pipping it at the post) the Transantarctic Mountains. It’s longer than the Himalayas and the Urals, the longest entirely within one country, and one of the largest by area, covering almost three times as much territory as the Rocky Mountains. Its mountains just aren’t very tall, mate.

As we break with so much past tradition,
Let us make it our singular mission
To show all the world
Britain’s colours unfurled:
The Palace’s Great Exhibition.

The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, organised by British inventor Henry Cole and Prince Albert and held in London’s Hyde Park from May to October 1851, was the first World’s Fair, although it had precursors in a series of Parisian industrial expositions and in European city fairs going back to the Middle Ages. Its venue and centrepiece was the Crystal Palace, an enormous cast iron and plate glass structure, initially meant to be temporary, which was subsequently relocated to Sydenham but burned down in 1936; its name lives on in that of the local football team. The Great Exhibition was a huge success; its profits were used to establish the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum and Natural History Museum in London, as well as a trust to provide grants and scholarships for industrial research.

The Great Famine in Ireland (you might
Call it other names), caused by a blight
On potatoes, made worse
By a Britain averse
To relief efforts, fuelled Irish flight.

The Great Famine or Great Hunger of 1845 to 1852 had a catastrophic impact on Irish society: out of a population of over eight million, approximately a million died and two million emigrated, spurring a century-long population decline. On an island where forty years of direct rule from Westminster had left most people reliant on a single food crop, the inadvertent introduction of a potato blight from the Americas spelled disaster: within a year, potato crop losses had risen to 75%. The situation was worsened by the inadequate responses of the UK government; in 1846 a Whig government driven by laissez-faire ideas halted the previous Tory government’s initial relief efforts while continuing to restrict the export of food from Ireland to England. The long-term impact of the Famine on Anglo-Irish relations can scarcely be overstated.

From the City comes smoke: a Great Fire.
Now he witnesses flames rising higher.
It’s giving the creeps
To dear Samuel Pepys—
Half of London’s a funeral pyre.

The Great Fire of London, or simply the Great Fire, started in September 1666 in a bakery in Pudding Lane near the Tower, and destroyed most of the mediaeval City of London inside the old Roman walls over the next four days, including St Paul’s Cathedral. The renowned diarist Samuel Pepys, who personally informed King Charles II of the fire, wrote vividly about the desperate attempts to quell the flames, pigeons falling from the skies, glass melting and buckling in the heat, and saving a round of parmesan cheese by burying it in his garden.

“That explorer bloke says it’s real hot.”
“Not surprisin’. What name has it got?”
“Great Victoria Desert.”
“I’m baffled—he says it
Lies out towards Perth.” “That’s the spot.”

Yes, the Great Victoria Desert, Australia’s largest, straddles South Australia and Western Australia, not Victoria in the country’s southeast. Like half the British Empire at the time, it was named after you-know-who—even though the colony of the same name already existed by then—by the first European to cross it. Aboriginal Australians, of course, had been crossing it for tens of thousands of years, and live there still. That didn’t stop the British from testing nuclear weapons there in the 1950s and 1960s, though, at Emu Field and Maralinga.

Moby-Dick is a much-admired tale
Of a captain’s pursuit of a pale,
Leg-consuming cetacean.
Beloved by its nation,
To read it’s my own great white whale.

Captain Ahab’s quest for the titular white whale in Herman Melville’s classic American novel has spermed, um, spawned this idiom for the object of a relentless or obsessive pursuit.

Here’s some dairy to gobble down quick:
Greek yogurt. It’s temptingly thick.
Heat milk and add culture,
Then eat like a vulture—
Its bacteria won’t make you sick.

“I eat like a vulture. Unfortunately the resemblance doesn’t end there.” — Groucho Marx

There are known knowns and unknown unknowns.
Doing endless research just postpones
The stark moment of truth.
Here it is, then, forsooth:

A greenbone’s a fish with green bones.

That’s right: a greenbone is any of several species of fish (such as a garfish or an eelpout) whose bones are green, especially when cooked. In New Zealand, though, the name means a specific species of edible reef fish, Coridodax pullus, with a slippery purplish-grey to olive-green skin.

Used the last of my green curry paste
Cooking Thai tonight, leaving no waste;
Sadly I, in my hurry
To make this green curry,
Neglect to consider its taste.

I mean, it was delicious, but hot. So hot.

There’s water and solar and wind:
Electricity types that rescind
Our carte blanche to pollute.
This green energy’s beaut—
Let’s see fossil-fuel power plants binned.

Hydro-electricity, wave power, wind power and solar power are key candidates for green electricity generation, and are far-enough advanced to remove our sense of entitlement to trash the atmosphere. Some claim that nuclear power is also a form of green energy, although its critics consider this an example of greenwashing.

Global heating—coal-burning will fan it,
Like natural-gas-burning, an’ it
Ain’t good to burn oil.
Take Earth off the boil:
Green energy won’t kill the planet.

What exactly’s a truly green fuel?
One from biomass? Hydrogen? You’ll
Find that some aren’t as clean
As you’d hope. Being green
Isn’t easy, alas; life is cruel.

Green fuels produced from biomass are as often made from corn starch, displacing feed crops, as from organic waste, so even if they prevent fossil fuel use they create their own environmental and social problems. Hydrogen can be even worse: although touted as an alternative fuel for vehicles, “blue” hydrogen is produced from natural gas, a fossil fuel; only “green” hydrogen, created using green electricity, is truly a green fuel.

Need a ring for the She-Hulk (wink, wink)?
If you take some pure gold and add zinc
Or some silver, the sheen
It will gain will be green!
Also, kryptonite does it, I think.

(Sorry, not kryptonite—cadmium. Wrong superhero universe.) Green gold is a greenish alloy of 14 to 18 carat gold using the metals mentioned, and may or may not have featured in the Marvel comic The Savage She-Hulk or its spin-off TV series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

Several species of reindeer abound
In the north: one example is found
Here in Greenland (its west;
In the east, laid to rest,
Was another). It’s seen barren ground.

Closer genetic analysis of different groups of caribou and reindeer, once all lumped together as Rangifer tarandus, suggests there are numerous species and subspecies; before long, it won’t be accurate to say that a caribou is a reindeer and vice versa, and when someone asks you “What’s the scariest animal on the tundra?” you’ll have to ask which one.

The name of the Barren-Ground caribou, of the Barren Grounds district lying between Hudson Bay and the Mackenzie River in Canada, was once used interchangeably with Greenland caribou, but these caribou of West Greenland are now recognised as a separate subspecies (or species; as of May 2024, the science isn’t settled). Another Greenland subspecies, the smaller and paler Arctic reindeer (or East Greenland caribou), became extinct around 1900.

This halibut’s habitat’s Greenland
And the seas that surround it: a clean land
(And ocean, at that).
And the fish? Pretty flat,
Likes deep waters—unlikely it’s seen land.

The Greenland halibut is a predatory flatfish found in the northern Atlantic, northern Pacific and Arctic Oceans which prefers depths of 200 to 2,000 metres. Its near-boneless flesh has a soft texture, is easy to cook with, and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Greenland shark, falcon, halibut, whale,
Seal and dove: creatures no one can fail
To discern, should they wish,
Are Greenlandic or -ish.
As for why this land’s “Green”, there’s a tale...

Greenland has lent its name to several creatures, although some of these names are now obsolete: the Greenland seal is the harp seal; the Greenland whale is the bowhead whale; the Greenland dove is the black guillemot; and the Greenland falcon is a subpopulation of the gyrfalcon. Why none of these phrases use the perfectly good adjective Greenlandic (or the older Greenlandish) is beyond me.

The botanical term Greenland poppy
Refers to a few, which seems sloppy.
Genus Papaver; all
Found up north; all quite small.
Does their name make Svalbardians stroppy?

Svalbardians (or, as the few thousand inhabitants of Spitsbergen in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago might also be called, Spitsbergeners) probably don’t worry too much, because one Greenland poppy, Papaver dahlianum, is more commonly called the Svalbard poppy, while another, Papaver radicatum, the Arctic, rooted or yellow poppy found in Greenland’s north and elsewhere in the polar region, may not even be a separate species.

Between Greenland and Spitsbergen: sea.
Which ocean, though? To a degree,
It drives mapmakers frantic:
Is it Arctic? Atlantic?
Seems either works, really, to me.

The Greenland Sea.

Greenland yards, found in places like Hull,
Were locations you’d see a huge skull,
Piles of blubber, and oil
In vast pots on the boil.
In these whaling yards, life wasn’t dull.

In Europe, a lizard that’s green
And a foot long or more can be seen
In the sun on a rock.
This may come as a shock,
But it’s called a green lizard. I mean...

Lacerta viridis (and the possibly separate species, possibly not, Lacerta bilineata) is also called the European green lizard. Crazy, I know.

When offered an olive, I’d heard,
Maybe nine out of ten kids demurred.
I was taken aback
To find mine would eat black
Olives—green olives, though, they preferred.

Unlike my own kids, I was one of those that didn’t like ’em, although I do now. Wasted thirty-odd years and two visits to Spain not eating every available olive.

The humble legume, the green pea,
Is a feature of many kids’ tea.
You can, if you please,
Call a mess of them pease,
As they did a long time before me.

Pea is a seventeenth-century back-formation from the Old and Middle English pease. The latter term lingers in pease pudding (or pease porridge or pease pottage), a thick soup now commonly made from yellow split peas, as eaten for dinner and tea (if not breakfast, dinner and tea) in the north of England and in nursery rhymes.

The thick yellow soup in this pot
Is considered delicious, though not
When it’s left to get cold
Or it’s served nine days old—
No, the finest pease pudding is hot.

Green technology (also green tech)
Is used to ensure we don’t wreck
The environment. Many
Types matter, and any
Is helpful, so let’s get on deck.

Green tech is an umbrella term for the use of technology and science to reduce our impact on the environment: it can include products with improved production processes or supply chains, the use of alternative fuels or production of clean energy, organic farming, recycling, and any technology less harmful to the environment than those using fossil fuels.

The green-winged (American) teal
Is a duck. What the quack is its deal?
It has green on its wings
(Viz., those feathery things),
Hence its greenwing name. Keepin’ it real.

The seaman’s coarse jacket looks good,
With its waterproof plastic-block hood:
A warm, padded grego,
Constructed of Lego.
Should you buy this new set? Yes, you should.

An explosive device, the grenade
Is a weapon that’s proudly displayed
In my armaments store.
It’s so handy in war:
It goes “boom”, as we say in the trade.

I’m in love with my hand grenade! Doubt it
Needs banging on, really, about it:
Its shape makes me grin.
Now I’ve pulled out its pin,
I discover I can’t live without it.

“See the largest of zebras!” declares
Master Zebedee. “Nothing compares!”
Ain’t no way he’s forsaking
This Grévy train, taking
The gullible crowd unawares.

“Hey, we want our money back! You’ve just painted stripes on a pony!”

Grévy’s zebra.

Finely dressed in our boomer regalia,
We travel ’round outback Australia
In campervans; call
Us grey nomads, in thrall
To our lives of retired Bacchanalia.

Well, who knows what they get up to in their campervans, caravans and motor homes after dark?

“Hey, I heard a zoologist’s tale
That the animal called the gray whale
Was named for John Gray.”
Well, ignore what they say.
It’s an etymological fail.

As the folk etymology goes, gray whales were named by British zoologist John Edgar Gray (1800–1875) after himself. But although Gray did place the cetacean in its own genus (which he named in honour of a Danish zoologist), he did so thirty years after the name’s first 1834 citation in the Oxford English Dictionary, which says it was “formed within English, by compounding” and spells it the British way, grey whale. Maybe grey whales just appealed to Gray because of their name.

Attaching the head of an eagle
To a leonine form gives a regal
Chimera: this griffin
Makes enemies stiffen
With terror. It’s almost illegal.

It’s certainly imaginary. This creature, known for guarding treasures and priceless possessions, dates back to Ancient Egypt and featured in the mythology of Persia, Greece, and mediaeval Europe. It was seen in Christendom to be a symbol of Jesus, and in heraldry of courage and boldness.

These punches and awls? All grand, still,
For a shoemaker: tools that, with skill,
You should patiently use
To shape leather for shoes.
Cobblers! Grindery’s grist for the mill.

As well as the materials and tools used by shoemakers and other leatherworkers, grindery can also refer to a place where tools are sharpened or a mill where something is ground.

A young working-class Frenchwoman, set
On rich customers, plays the coquette
And allures them near
With low-alcohol beer:
This grisette attracts men with grisette.

Now The Simpsons’ ubiquity’s waning,
Your involvement needs (d’oh!) some explaining.
Futurama, as well
As your strip Life in Hell:
None have caused disenchantment, Matt Groening.

American cartoonist Matt Groening (b. 1954) created the animated sitcom that became the longest-running U.S. primetime television series in history, The Simpsons, in 1989. Ten years later he followed it with Futurama and in 2018 with Disenchantment. Groening’s animated series, and his long-running strip Life in Hell (1977–2012), have attracted countless fans worldwide.

Me muvver, a rock-lovin’ groover,
Was a musical shaker and mover.
Love o’ punk is what drove ’er
To claim “Disco’s over!“—
In hindsight, a futile manoeuvre.

Me father, a rock-lovin’ groover,
Was a miner: a lead ore remover
From seams found all over
Northumberland. Drove a
Few trucks with a rear-tipper doover.

“These old papers reach up to my head!
And there’s boxes all over your bed.
All this junk is obscene—
The whole place needs a clean.”
“I love trash,” Oscar grouchily said.

Sesame Street’s infamous hoarder of useless items would get grumpy if you suggested a clear-out. Oscar the Grouch is no Marie the Kondo.

Massasauga! This pygmy’s a prattler:
A small North American rattler.
This snake, which is found,
On the whole, on the ground,
Rarely graces the cover of Tatler.

It’s also known (among many other names) as a ground rattler.

Said the Captain, “Try some of these grouper
Fish fingers. The batter is super.”
I replied, “Eating bass
Makes me gassy, alas.”
Answered Birdseye, “Your loss, party-pooper.”

Numerous species of large-mouthed heavy-bodied fishes of the family Serranidae are known as groupers, including various basses, although sorting out their precise etymological overlap is more than I can be bothered with. They all taste the same in fish fingers, anyway.

Which formidable team will now snatch
A late win in this close football match?
A coach catches his breath,
“It’s the group of... [gulps] death,”
And then dies of a heart attack, natch.

When yer next down in Melbs, show some nous
And call everything excellent grouse.
It’s Victorian slang
Meaning something that brang
You good vibes, like a mortgage-free house.

Brang and brung are so often used colloquially in Australia as non-standard words for brought that they’re listed in the Macquarie Dictionary. Melbs, meanwhile, is Melburnian slang, used among locals, for the grouse city of Melbourne, Victoria. In 2022 a report found that its house prices were the fifth-least affordable in the world for those on a median wage, after Hong Kong, Sydney, Vancouver and San Jose.

The grugru nut grows on a palm
In Brazil. There are projects to farm
It for oil, an idea
Which its backers are clear
Would protect the world’s forests from harm.

The nut of the grugru or macauba palm has a hard shell and an endosperm tasting of coconut. It yields two kinds of oil suitable for biodiesel and for human consumption, and can be harvested from existing trees on agricultural farmland with no change in land use. The production potential of macauba oil exceeds global palm oil production, with clear potential benefits for the world’s rainforests.

“Tell me, Graham, what’s grumose? I spotted
The word in the dictionary.” “Clotted,
Like blood, me ol’ chum.”
“So a grume would be, Grum...?”
“Well, a clot.” “Oh, like you, then.” “Get knotted.”

The adjective grumose is apparently only seen in dictionaries; more usual (although still unusual) is grumous.

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