Thursday, March 19, 2009

CH 83 - the Scrungers

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An interesting cameo from the Chronicler's 1983 series: Mary and Magda scrunging. Is that Frank Green in the middle, always known as Frank the Soil? Not sure that it is, but given the activity depicted, it ought to be.  And is Mary really wearing a deerstalker?  I think you'll find that she is ...

I have looked up the word 'scrunge' and its variants on the web and the results are unedifying. Its meaning is neither clear nor consistent. It seems either to get mixed up with scrunch and scrump or to be very vulgar indeed. We used it, as far as I recall, to mean sifting soil with sieves and the assistance of water.

Thinking of Frank the Soil, it is, of course, a Welsh habit to connote which person one is talking about by means of their occupation. Presumably the practice arose as a result of the shortage of surnames with so many Joneses and Williamses needing to be distinguished from one another. I hope it will delight my readers to learn that when I was touring England & Wales three summers ago visiting 17 cathedrals, 2 abbeys and 5 castles in one 3-week trip, I found, in Caernarfon, an ice-cream parlour bearing the legend above the window 'Jones the Cones'.  Perfect.

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