Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Cheeky beggars!

On holidays recently, the Carnivore was cooking bacon for breakfast on the balcony when a whole host of interested parties turned up to supervise the process and loudly demand a share. Who could blame them? Nothing beats the smell of bacon cooking!

Naturally the Carnivore refused to part with any of his breakfast – this man takes meat seriously. That didn’t stop the raucous squawking. There must have been thirty of them. Believe me, thirty rainbow lorikeets make a lot of noise.

Pretty little beggars, aren’t they? We shooed them away repeatedly, but they kept coming back, at least till the bacon was gone. Clearly this was a regular gig for them.

Some people do encourage them, feeding them bread and other things that are bad for them. We were good and hardened our hearts, except for one member of our party, who offered a single piece of bread to see if he could get one of them to feed from his hand.

No problem! If he’d had a bigger hand, there would have been even more willing to oblige. They were fighting for landing space.

And the views from that balcony?


 Lucky rainbow lorikeets, that get to live there all the time!

And now I shall put on my English nerd hat: While writing this post it occurred to me how strange it is that “beggar” is spelled with an “ar”. The verb is to beg, and the person (or, in this case, bird) who does it is a beggar. But every other word constructed like this that I can think of ends in “er”: rider, runner, walker, keeper, scorer, chaser, drinker, shooter, killer, knitter, builder, etc, etc.

Damn, but the English language is a squirrelly beast. Can anyone think of any other words that use the “ar” construction?


  1. "Pedlar" used to; now "peddler" is more common.

    But there are other variants on -er nouns: -eur, from the French (entrepreneur, saboteur, poseur); -or (governor, solicitor, sailor).

  2. Forgot about the "or"s! My trusty dictionary reminded me of "liar" too. I suppose it's all down to historical reasons of who was invading at the time, bringing their words with them. I'm always glad I don't have to learn English as a second language!

  3. Welcome back to blog land! I missed you!!!!Beautiful view from your holiday house.x

    1. Why thank you! It's always good to be missed. I shall try not to leave you hanging so long in future!