Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dictionaries Are Our Friends

So, we're publishing the American edition of John Peel's autobiography, and the subtitle is "Margrave of the Marshes." We acquired the rights to the book maybe a year ago, and it never occurred to me to look up the word "margrave" until today. Because of its proximity to the word "marshes," for some reason I'd always assumed a margrave was a kind of bird. Boy, was I wrong.

Main Entry: mar·grave
Function: noun
Etymology: Dutch markgraaf, from Middle Dutch marcgrave; akin to Old High German marha boundary and to Old High German grAvo count -- more at MARK
1 : the military governor especially of a German border province
2 : a member of the German nobility corresponding in rank to a British marquess


I started laughing so hard at my desk when I realized how spectacularly wrong my assumption had been that I had no choice but to start doing bird calls. My exceedingly lame bird call, "kuh-KAW!", sounded suspiciously like a combination of Steve Martin in Three Amigos and Owen Wilson in Bottle Rocket.

Duuuuuuuuuude: New. National. Album. (Thanks for the scoop, P'fork!). Boxer is out May 22. Get excited, people.

1 comment:

Megan said...

I just laughed out loud for you. With you, in my head.

Tee hee.