The Foxopedia

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Word of the Week…….


So, a little different this week, not so much a weird and wonderful word, but we found where the meaning of an every day word came from which we found quite interesting…..


This is the old English word for what we know today as a lantern.  Yes, a simple lantern which projects light.  The very first, named a lanthorn, was invented in England in the 800s by Alfred The Great.

He was such a conscientious leader that he would dedicate parts of his day to different problems and issues the people faced. He would not prioritise a problem, but would divide his day into segments by marking the candles in the palace into the same sized segments.  When a segment had burned he turned his attention to the next issue.  However, the problem he found was that the draughts that blew through the windows, doors and hallways of the palace caused the candles to burn at different speeds and, as such, his times were all out of sync.  He therefore decided to make a casing for each candle from wood and white horn to protect the candles and allow them to burn equally.  And….. there you have it, the history of the first lanthorn.

Just another random piece of information.

Have a great weekend!

Image result for very old lanterns


Word of the Week……..


An unusual one for this wet, miserable day….


Simply means the day before yesterday.  It derives from the Latin term – nudius tertius, literally meaning today is the third day.

It never ceases to amaze me of the weird and wonderful words that you can find. Just imagine asking someone on a Monday morning – how was your nudiustertian?  I believe the look we would get would be of utter confusion…….!

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Word of the Week……..


Well, what could we find for today?  Given our love of books we thought this would be quite apt.


This very long word simply means a person who reads in bed.  This is one of my favourite pastimes, particularly on a cold dark evening with a nice glass of wine, or curled up on a Sunday morning with a hot chocolate.

I only wish you could be a full time Librocubicularist – a perfect career!

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Word of the week…….


So, after a little break and with the New Year here, we are now back into the wonderful world of words and books.  We picked two today, one is something that every single one of us experiences every day:


Refers to the first person one comes across upon leaving his or her house, more historically the first person on New Year’s Day or a special occasion.

Now, the question that arises: would that be the first person you spoke to, or the first person you saw?  For us, particularly me, if it was the former it would be the shop assistant in Waitrose, if the latter, it would be my cat if animals are included, if not my next-door neighbour!

Who was your Qualtagh this morning?

The second word is because it made us smile:


A mental condition where a person believes that they have become a cat! People regularly comment after visiting our cats here, that they would like to come back as a cat as ours are so spoilt.  We can understand the want to believe that you’re a cat – sleeping all day, cuddles, strokes, eating and then sleep again – in the warm!  Perhaps you could pretend for a day. 😊


Word of the Week……..


An interesting one this week. . .


I think we all, at some point in our lives, will come across someone who is ultracrepidarian – a person who criticises, judges, expresses opinions or attempts to give advice on a subject that is entirely outside of their expertise!

Perhaps you know someone who suffers with Ultracrepidarianism, the habit of being an ultracrepidarian on a regular basis.   Agghhhhhh!


Image result for i am an expert on everything         Image result for oh really  cat



Some of you will know of me, and the work that I do, if you are a follower of The Foxopedia, but to many of you I will be a new face.  I am posting this advertisement to inform all of you writers, authors and bloggers out there of the services I offer and how I may be able to assist you with your work.

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Word of the Week……..


It’s been a little while since we posted due to moving house and offices, but we are back into the swing of things now.   We thought we would find something a little different for this week:


Drapetomania was a problematical mental illness in the 1800’s (mainly identified in America) and in 1851, Samuel Cartwright, an American Physician, theorised that this was the cause of black slaves fleeing captivity.  It was not a term necessarily recognised in medical terminology, but Cartwright said, when describing the illness, that it was . . .

‘unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers”.

He advised that preventative measures and cures would involve ‘whipping’ them until they were too scared to run or, in severe cases, cutting off their big toes to stop them from running.

The term was last published in a 1914 medical dictionary, when it offered the definition of – ‘vagabondage, an uncontrollable or insane impulsion to wander’.

I know my mind loves to wander off and does so regularly, perhaps we could start a new term – Mindtomania!


Did you know……..


The beloved Roald Dahl has been all over our social media sites, newspapers and televisions this year with it being the 100 year anniversary of his birth.  A celebration of the characters and wonderful stories he created.  We found out a few random facts about him and his stories and thought we would share a few with you to brighten up this Tuesday afternoon:

  • Apparently, Mr Dahl hated beards – he had a severe dislike of them and this was the idea behind ‘The Twits’, he had a desire to ‘do something against beards’!
  • With the outbreak of World War II, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot, although following injuries suffered as a result of a horrific crash in 1940, he was medically retired.
  • In 1942, Dahl became a spy for the British Embassy based out of Washington DC and worked alongside Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, as well as many others.
  • Whilst at school, Dahl and a few of his friends were given the annual job of chocolate tasting for Cadburys’ new products, providing him with the thought and ideas behind ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘.
  • James and the Giant Peach was originally called James and the Giant Cherry but Dahl felt that a large, squishy, pretty peach was much more appropriate and changed it.
  • Dahl invented two key pieces of medical equipment during a troubling time in his life, when his four-year-old son Theo was knocked over and suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in cephalous. In order to drain the fluid from the brain Dahl, along with neurosurgeon Kenneth Till, came up with the idea of what we know today as the ventricular catheter and shunt valves, used over the decades thousands of times during neurosurgery.
  • In 1971 a real person called Willy Wonka wrote to Roald Dahl – he was a postman in Nebraska.
  • Dahl did dabble in writing for the adults as well and one short story of his was even published in Playboy Magazine!

I’m sure you have read and seen many more weird and wonderful facts about the lovely Mr Dahl, but these were a few of our favourites.

Image result for roald dahl

Word of the Week……..


Having read an article about some rare literary terms, we thought we would share a word with you this week that we thought was quite unusual and, an example of it can be linked to our parent company, The Brown Fox Bureau.


A piece of text that uses every letter of the alphabet, except one. So an example is:

The Quick Brown Jumped over the Lazy Dog.

This pangrammatic lipogram version avoids the letter S.


The Quick Brown Jumps over the Lazy Dog, uses every letter of the alphabet.

This latter well-known phrase was the inspiration behind the name of The Brown Fox Bureau – the phrase is a tool for teaching touch typing, as it uses every key on the keyboard, due to the fact that it has all the letters in the alphabet.

Can you create a Lipogram of your own? What letter would you pick to leave out in the cold? We’d love to hear your ideas….

Image result for lipogram


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