This week Wordfoolery brings you woggle because it sounds funny and conjures images of a wobbly teddy bear on a high wire. I’ve spent the last two weekends camping, first with my Beaver Scouts and then helping with the Cub Scouts because they were short-handed. It’s amazing how much gear children leave in lost property after a camp and woggles are very high on that list because they’re small and easy to misplace.
I was really hoping that the woggle was named for a person – Mrs Esmerelda Woggle of Woggledon Hall, Surrey perhaps? Then I could have included it in my eponym series but although the woggle was invented, it wasn’t by Esmerelda.
The woggle was invented by an Australian Scout Bill Shankley in the 1920s as a device to tie a neckerchief – that’s the coloured scarf worn by Scouts and Girl Guides worldwide. There are a number of different designs now and some are only allowed for specific levels of Scouting achievement or particular groups but basically if it holds together the ends of your necker, it’s a woggle. Now I have woggle-envy after seeing the Maori head carved woggles used in New Zealand.
The word woggle can also be used as a verb. According to Merriam Webster it means to alter or waggle something. Presumably a Scout could woggle his woggle then? Or wiggle-waggle his woggle?
Now that’s why I enjoy a word like woggle.
I’ll be travelling for the next two weeks but will try to schedule a post here during my absence. Failing that, I’ll be wordfooling again on the 8th of July.
Until next time happy reading, writing and wordfooling.