BL: imp
Posted: 24 September 2013 05:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Demonic plants? A little shop of horrors?

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Posted: 24 September 2013 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Fascinating—I had no idea!

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Posted: 24 September 2013 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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You’re not the only one, mate. Good work, Dave.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Aha! That explains something for me - in my childhood I had a passion for the Middle Ages and read everything I could find about anything remotely medieval, including falconry. When a medieval falcon broke a main wing feather, the falconer would mend it by soaking an iron needle in brine or vinegar to make it rust, and using it as a splint for the feather till it healed. ( I gather falconers still do this, but these days they use carbon fibre and superglue.) This procedure was and is known as imping - I naturally assumed that this was an unrelated word to imp meaning a little devil, but clearly it isn’t.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The OED outlines the falconry sense. I didn’t go into it because I try to avoid sprawling discourse in these entries. (With a lot of words, you can go on and on with arcane senses.)

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