Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Words worth espousing - "backsters"

From time to time I will post here under a stem-heading "Words worth" (espousing). Not the poet Wordsworth you understand, but the notion. The notion that some words are worth preserving, honouring, espousing, resurrecting, promoting etc before they disappear altogether. Backsters are "wide, flat pieces of board, which are strapped on the feet, and used to walk over loose beach on the coasts of Kent and East Sussex..." (ref: The word museum, Jeffrey Kacirk). I intend to travel to Britain this (European) winter, with the intention of asking for some backsters in a sporting goods store in Kent. If the serving person is puzzled, I will express indignation that while such a perfectly good word has been preserved with complete fidelity in Australian English, it has been shamefully neglected in its original home.