Wednesday, February 25, 2009

crocitation, relief, headlong

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Martha, who visits this site and who goes by the name, Crow, on hers, hasI think invented a word, which deserves to end up in the Oxford English Dictionary. See her comment on my 22 February post. Her word is "crocitation". She says that she has"adopted" it which half implies that it already exists. But having looked it up in two dictionaries, I now suspect that it must be of her own making. She says that she is going to use it as much as possible, and as, a fellow crow watcher, I can promise my support,. According to a TV programme I saw recently a word can be included in the OED, once evidence of its printed usage is established. I don't know if blogs count as printed usage, but it should not take long for it to spread from the screen to the page.
On the question of my crows engaging in Springtime bonding, I confess that I have not witnessed such behaviour. Though the wood pigeons in these parts seem to do little else in the Spring. When the leaves appeared on the trees last summer the crows were much less in evidence, and later in the year were joined by two or three other crows. I assumed these to be offspring, the result of bonding no doubt, but bonding carried out, as befits old fashioned English crows, in private.
Meanwhile though I like the idea of crocitation, I am not sure of its precise meaning. Could we have one please, Martha.

I reach for my wallet and find that it is not, where I think it should be, in my pocket. On coming home, when to my relief I discover that it is on my desk, I count this as a beautiful thing, and can proceed with writing this blog, without first contacting insurance companies, banks and the like.

Even more remarkable than the speed with which squirrels run up the trunks of trees, is the speed and assurance of their headlong descent.


Dave King said...

Okay, I'm game: I'll crocitate whenever I get the opportunity.

The Crow said...

12:04 am, Thursday, 2-26-09

Joe! Did you take the photos of the crows? Are they Mr and Mrs? Those are two of the best images of crows I've seen, and I have been collecting crow images for several years.

At the beginning of February, a cyber-acquaintance, Michelle ( issued a meme challenge to several of us. We were to visit a web site,, and adopt one or more words that were about to be eliminated from dictionaries - because they were not much used, and to make way for newer words.

I chose three words that seem to fit my Crow persona: crocitation, nidifice and aretaloger. See for an explanation of the challenge and of the words.

When I revisited this evening, the site has been withdrawn, no reason given. There is another site I visited, to try to learn more about the words: Compendium of Lost Words.

I used crocitation as the title of a post which illustrated the definition of aretaloger/aretalogy.

Perhaps if enough of us begin using some of these "lost" words, they won't disappear.

On the other hand, perhaps we should leave well enough alone and let them each die a quiet, dignified death.

Thank you, Joe, for the lovely pictures of the crows, and for your interest in old, almost forgotten words.

(I think Dave's gotten into the spirit of this rather nicely, too!)

By the way, bonding and courtship are not the same behaviors as mating, though all three behaviors serve to reinforce each other. I've never seen my crows mating, but I've observed the bonding and the courtship behaviors several times. I posted about the courtship of crows in a post titled, "The Dance of the Crows."


Lucy said...

Relief, such as finding your wallet at home, can be as delicious and beautiful as anything.

What interesting crow-stuff!

Unknown said...

The photographs are of the same crow. The two are seldom close enough to capture them as a couple.
Thank you, Martha, for the links. My goodness, those are good words - nidifice and artaloger, both. I shall look them up in the Oxford English Dictionary to see if they have survived. I have a copy in which the 10 volumes are condensed to two, but in microscopic type for which you need a special magnifying glass and a lot of patience.

Crow seems to be bird of the month, Lucy. Are there corbeaux down your way? I like the Scottish word for Crow, corbie, as in, As I was walking all alane, I heard twa corbies making mane.

The Crow said...

You've added two words to my vocabulary - drey (a nidifice for squirrels) and corbeaux, a more romantic-sounding word for crow.

Michelle said...

Coming very late to the "cawcous"...

Crocitation was in Websters up till 1828. No idea when it started to die out.