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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, November 05, 2007

gaggle

Here we are into November and have not had a frost as yet. A few of the trees are into their change of color but most of them almost seem confused, not knowing whether to change or not. A trip down the interstate roadway revealed several that looked like they just got tired of the indecision and their leaves turned brown and are about to fall off.

There’s a small tree along my walking route that looked different from the others. I didn’t stop during my walks to identify it but when it started changing colors, I knew from the beautiful red hues that it was a variety of maple. Tucked under the canopy of the larger trees, it is a bit scrawny and struggling in its competition for leftover sunlight reaching its shaded position. As I am wont to do, I am pulling for the underdog and am hoping this overgrown sprout makes it to full tree-dom.

A rather large group of geese is back at the pond and I found myself wondering whether the word gaggle has a limit as to the number of individuals that can be in this word’s definition. Is it still considered a gaggle even if several hundred geese are involved? A large congregation could even be called a slew, which is defined as a large number or quantity.

Slew is also the past tense of slay, so a large number of dead geese could definitely be called a slew, especially if they were killed in the past. Of course it is hard to kill something in the past but even if they were killed in the present, the past would come very quickly to them.

I have wondered about the origin of the word gaggle and upon seeing this group and watching them exercise themselves in the pecking order process, I think I have figured out where the word came from. As they posture and try to bluff each other out they make little noises that could be called gaggling. Most of the flock makes these noises and upon hearing this, an observer might have said, “That is nothing but one big gaggle.” The name stuck and they have been called a gaggle since.

No way of proving this theory unless I do major research, which is usually limited to a very few minutes. But it did make sense to me, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it would make sense to anyone else in the known world. Some knowledge that is individually construed may or may not have any relation to the truth. Some might even construe that there is no truth but they would be wrong.

The “Truth” that endures through all generations is that God loves us enough that He made a way for us to be forgiven for any wrong we have ever done. Not only that, He will also be a constant companion that will guide us into all truth and will even help us to live according to it. That is very impressive to me. ec

PS – The etymology of gaggle shows it from the 15th century Middle English word gagyll, from gagelen, meaning to cackle.

6 Comments:

Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I think your theory was on target.

11/06/2007 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

A few fall colors are showing around here too and this morning the air has a little bite to it, but no frost as yet.

11/06/2007 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - Rather than a theory it was a supposition or a SWAG - but I was a bit suprised when I found the etymology of the word mostly agreed with my guess.

brenda - There is a slight possibility of frost tonight in some areas. We were at the hospital until late - our friend took a turn for the worse - but when we got in, I went with a flash light and picked all the green tomatoes so the possible frost wouldn't possibly nip them. ec

11/06/2007 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr Eddie ~~ Gaggle is a very funny word but it sort of suits geese. Sorry you had to have a mammogram and hope it turns out OK. I have a male cousin who had breast cancer so it does happen. Thanks for your comments and I hope you get some rain. John is OK. I hope your friend is OK and gets well. Take care Regards,
Merle.

11/07/2007 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

merle - We would probably have less geese if my neighbor would quit feeding them. :) Our friend is not doing well, it seems to be just a matter of time. ec

11/07/2007 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I don't know about gaggle sizes, but I wonder if you had more than one in there.

11/08/2007 05:22:00 PM  

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