Wednesday, 27 May 2015

I hope you didn't 'spandle' today?

Do you remember my friend the author Robert Macfarlane? I wrote to him a couple of years ago and he replied with the most splendid letter.

Well he has a new book, 'Landmarks', and of course Gail and I have been reading it.

It is all about "the power of language to shape our sense of place". At the end of each chapter is a glossary of lost or nearly lost words from around the UK.

Some of them relate to walking and Gail points out they are useful for dogs too. Which of these, I wonder, best describes how you or your human approaches your daily perambulation?

Scrimander (Yorkshire): to wander about, to take a devious or winding course

Spangin' (Scots): walking vigorously

Striddle (N. Ireland): to walk uncomfortably, with an unusual gait

Crabbsganach (Gaelic): awkward on one's feet, owing to their being sore

Flinks (Shetland): to ramble in a rompish manner, as a frolicsome girl might

Stravaig (Scots):to wander aimlessly, unguided by outcome or destination

Nuddle (Suffolk): to walk in a dreamy manner, with head down as if preoccupied.

Whichever fits you, please, pups and humans alike, when you return to the house, please do always remember not to spandle!*.

*Spandle (Kent): to leave marks of wet feet or shoes on a floor, as a dog does with its paw prints.


  1. I probably striddle - due to arthur-eye-tis in my hips and my luxatating patellas - I do kinda a funny skip when I'm actually walking and not attempting to sit down. Or I buck like a bronco.

    My momma's word would be spangin' - she's always tryin to make me go go go.

  2. After we 'flinks' we do spandle quite a bit.

  3. Oh ...our Mom is a nuddler - we of coarse and spandlers :)

  4. We loves it. Now we know that our muzzer is a crabb thingy. And of course we are "let's be good dogs now, no fighting please.

    Gus n Teka

  5. Bertie what a wonderful and informative post. You know mom and I love 'expensive' words. We'd rate all of these at least $5.00+ words.
    Scrimander no self respecting cat takes a direct course anywhere
    Flinks surely describes me
    Stravaig MOL MOL that word was made for mom she often seen wandering aimlessly
    Hugs madi and mom

  6. My assistant is definitely a Spangin' She is often in a big hurry, walking so fast, not looking where she is going ...walking into things, etc.

    P.S: Blogger is being mean again and has hidden our last two posts. You can still visit us at

  7. My Mum comes from the wilds of Lincolnshire and regularly comes out wiv words Dad has never heard of!
    (or is it him just saying he doesn't understand her???)
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  8. I love striddle... that fits for my dad when he has to run behind me :o)
    easy rider

  9. Hari OM
    I may begin spangin' but it is generally not long before the striddle and crabbsganachs hit in... the price of rickety bones!!! Of course spandling never happens here due to the requirement of leaving footwear outside! (Towels provided for the barepawed...) What an interesting read Bertie lad... Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  10. We love this!!! Nuddling is what so many humans do when they are walking with their heads buried in their smart phones! And I always spandle during the rainy season here in South Florida!!! Wirey love, Just Harry

  11. Being around Scotties, i probably am spangin. Otherwise i just am good and walk normal.


  12. I rather like Stravaig... I'll try to pop it into a conversation and gauge the strange looks I receive.

    1. To be honest, 'stravaig' was the only word on the list above that I had actually come across before!
      Cheers, Gail.

  13. We believe we are Scrimandlers... We wander about AIMELESSLY... except when we are AIMING at the trunks of Trees or Sign Posts and stuffs...

  14. We wonder why some words get forgotten when they are such great words!

    Your pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  15. Striddle is the word of the day
    Lily & Edward

  16. Well, around here Spandle fits all of us right now....WET, WET, thats all we gots!

    The Mad Scots

  17. Jan said we had better not spandle! She's had enough of wet, muddy tracks in the house. Next time we should wash the floor after ourselves. Yeah, right, like that's going to happen. :)