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new word : spider-catcher

Quite cold and tired this morning. Also, we're now in the zone of the active axe (cuts wise) and each morning is touched by that slight uncertainty (will it be today?) and the knowledge that I should be seeking exploring sorting it out. Anyone got any jobs to spare? I'm not very good at anything much, and while I certainly learn quickly, many would say also rather sloppily.

Speaking of which, a question: does anyone know what years comics writer Peter Milligan and artist Brendan McCarthy were born in? I'm praising them to the skies for a book that wants to include their years, as in Peter Milligan, 196*-present... it's for posterity, see?

Once again I failed to take comics to the pub for the Oxford comics meet-up. I suck at scene-building. What a spider-catcher....

Oh yes, I was sent a new catch-all insult by the OED. Spider-catcher!

spider-catcher, n.
Etymology:spider n.

a. One who catches spiders. Chiefly fig., and freq. as a vague term of abuse (obs.).

1579 W. Wilkinson Confut. Familye of Loue Brief Descr. p. iii,Not only in the priuate assemblies‥did these spidercatchers swarme together.
1599 Hist. Syr Clyomon & Clamydes vii. 64Charm, enchant, make a spider-catcher of me, if I be false to you ever.
1620 Bp. J. Hall Honor Married Clergie iii. ii. 262He that would doubt whether such an Epistle were written‥may doubt whether Spider-catcher corner-creeper C.E.‥wrote a scurrilous Letter.
1625 J. Shirley Love Tricks i. i,If I fail, call me spider-catcher.
1711 J. Addison Spectator No. 21. ¶7Innumerable Retainers to Physick‥: Not to mention the Cockle-shell-Merchants and Spider-catchers.

Vague terms of abuse are great, especially when almost all the context has been eroded away.


( 4 worms — Feed the birds )
12th Jan, 2011 10:08 (UTC)
I have a vague feeling I've heard of spider-catcher as an insult, and it relating to someone so lazy/inefficient that spiders can build webs on them. Maybe I'm imagining it, or it was a different language... Not sure if it really matches up to those examples of usage either.
12th Jan, 2011 10:49 (UTC)
I think I prefer Cockle-shell-Merchants.

There need to be some new ones though. An internet personality who talks about software was at one point very exercised at teaching computer science in Java (and 'Java schools' in general) so this clearly should be an insult on the lines of 'your mother teaches the rudiments of Computer Science at a Java school'.
12th Jan, 2011 13:47 (UTC)
I'm sure I have heard spider-catcher used to refer to a pair of knickers or bikini bottoms worn with insufficient attention to pube management.
12th Jan, 2011 17:01 (UTC)
Pant moustache!
( 4 worms — Feed the birds )