Tag: Martian 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.

 

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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.

 

Skutter-Shot

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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.