Thursday, 1 June 2017

Machair and Covfefe

June is here, in a blaze of sunshine in these parts - a promising first day of the 'meteorological summer'. Turning over my calendar, I find a picture of a handsome bee called Bombus distinguendus, the Great Yellow Bumblebee. This once widespread species, I learn, is now found only on the far North coast of Scotland and on a few of the isles, where it lives on the machair.
 Machair? This was a new one on me. It means a particular form of extremely flower-rich coastal grassland, in which the Great Yellow's favourite flower, the Red Clover, grows in prodigious abundance. The word 'machair' in Gaelic simply means 'fertile plain', and it was not used by scientists until the 1940s. Being scientists, they are still wrangling over its precise definition and over different classifications of machair.
 Ah well, it's good to start the new month - the new season - with a new word (and a bumblebee).

Indeed, not one new word but two, for last night Donald Trump somehow coined the neologism 'covfefe'. I like it - it has a similar sound to that fine English word 'kerfuffle'. Perhaps El Trumpo was groping for a word to describe the lamentable state of the UK election campaign...


  1. "Covfefe" means "Help, one of my Twitter minders just grabbed my phone!"

  2. Step away from the phone, sir...

  3. Is Old Nige going to prognosticate any time soon if that's not a rude question?

  4. I'm biding my time Guy - can't believe what a pig's ear TM is making of this campaign...

  5. Nor me. All she had to do was sit still and look reasonably sane while Corbyn self-combusted.