Tag Archives: horse

Keffel

I woke early this morning and spent time listening to the breeze and watching my last remaining jellyfish do his slow hypnotic ballet. He’s not alone in the tank, he has two unicorn snails with him, and they race around the tank each day – one always counter-clockwise and one always clockwise – adding a swirling time warp aspect to the jellyfish’s swimming. It’s an amazing way to meditate, watching these creatures in the mornings before I fully and truly am awake.

When I descended into the parlor with coffee in hand, I discovered the floor covered in ash, dirt and crumbs. Also, a horseshoe. Whilst I ponder the secret life my house is having while I slumber, you can ponder today’s word.

Keffel is an old Welsh word that means an inferior and worthless horse; a nag. There are a number of variant spellings: keffel, keffle, and ceffyl. Oh, Welsh. It’s one of my favorite languages, you know?

The word is thought to come from the Latin caballus defined as horse, nag. Yes, you are correct, in Classical Latin the word equus is used for horse. Caballus is considered Vulgar Latin for horse.

That’s right. I’m teaching you Vulgar Latin as well as Classical Latin in my etymological forays. You are very welcome.

Alright. I keep hearing the sound of a farrier’s forge: fire crackling, bellows blowing, steel being hammered. Perhaps this horseshoe is more than just a Word Wednesday prompt.

Now I have a question for you: What do you think the term Gee-Gee means?

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