Friday, March 12, 2010

"Like Morley's Ducks, Born Without A Notion"

The fact that I browse through the yellowed pages of Notes and Queries no doubt means that I have too much time on my hands.  (Yes, the pages are indeed yellow in the copies that are available in the Internet Archive.)  But the prospect of delightful discoveries around any corner is addictive (at least for me).

For instance:

" 'Like Morley's ducks, born without a notion.'  This was also a Nottinghamshire saying, but a very common one - spoken of someone on the occasion of his committing a stupid action.  A public-house at Sneinton, near Nottingham, had been kept by generations of Morleys, and one of them, in answer to a complaint of their straying into a  neighbour's garden, said his ducks were 'born without a notion.'"

(Notes and Queries, Fifth Series, Volume X, Number 236, July 6, 1878, contributed by "Ellcee.") 

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