Tag: dire planet etymology

Squall of a Skelk

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The skelk, when in danger, emits a high-pitched squall, which makes it sound more fearsome than it really is. When someone says that they hear the squall of a skelk, and are not speaking of the actual rodent, they mean they are hearing big talk but there is little to back up those boasts or claims.



An Invitation to His Parlour

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This phrase has two connotations. At one point an invitation to a man’s parlor was part of the courtship process, and a prospective wife would take part in a small repast where she would have conversation with the potential husband. Sometimes, it would even involve interviews by a husband’s other wives, where they would determine her eligibility.

In more licentious times, when the Muvari had fallen away from the worship of the Father and his One Son, a visit to a man’s parlor often meant extramarital intercourse.



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Skutter is the noise a flying object makes but, in Martian language, it has also come to be recognized as the sound of a flying quarrel that has missed its target, for warriors are very aware of this noise when a shaft flies past their heads. So a ‘skutter-shot’ has come to mean a missed shot or to refer to the idea of someone losing their path or their objective. This word is also sometimes used as a noun, referring to someone who has no clear aim or direction.