Monday, July 20, 2009

Today's Word: Spurtle

My wife keeps a funny stick in one of our kitchen drawers. It looks somewhat like a fancy wooden spoon that someone has ruined by sawing off the flat, scooped end. When I cook pasta, I often stir the pasta with this stick to prevent the pasta from sticking.

The other night my wife was handy as I cooked the pasta and so I asked her about the strange stick. "It was your late mother's," my wife said. "She called it a spurtle. She used it for stirring her morning porridge."

"Spurtle?" This had me heading for the dictionary. Ah, spurred, spurt, sputnik, but no spurtle. I knew it wasn't a word. But, I checked Google just to be a hundred percent sure. It was there.

In fact, there was a whole dictionary of words that aren't in my dictionary. I found oxter (an armpit), lum (a chimney stack), and foosty - as in, "Ach! The breid's gone foosty (mouldy)."

If you're interested in knowing more, check out the Illustrated Scottish Words on the Net.

Porridge making champion Ian Bishop, 2008 Golden Spurtle winner, with Miss Scotland.

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