Buzz and Bzz

1. Chinese: tea.  2. Mexican: cocoa.  3. Dutch: toy.  4. Spanish: rapier 5.  Hebrew: jug.  6.  North American Indian: moccasin.  7.  Persian:  Orange.  8. Hindustani: bangle.  9. Portuguese:  Apricot.  10. Australian: boomerang.  11.  Syrian: damask.  12. Norse: knife.  13. Egyptian: papyrus.  14.  Latin: jovial (Jove).  15. French: castle.  16.  Turkish: turquoise.  17. Greek: Bible.  18.  Saxon: sword.  19. West African (?): canary

Ghoulishly behind schedule we are, again, delayed, as we spend some time learning English with two orphans, Buzz and Bzz.  Tragically, their parents were abducted whilst strolling on Clapham Common and bees, who fed them honey over the summer, temporarily adopted the children.  During the first autumn and winter, whilst the bees were asleep, a squirrel family, who fed them nuts and berries, fostered the children.  With the spring, the toddlers were able to gather left over sandwiches for themselves, discarded in the rubbish bins provided on the Common. 


During the summer months, there were rich pickings for the children, which included the remains of barbeques and the edible debris left behind by the thousands of people attending the summer fair and music festivals.  The children were eventually found, stealing hot chestnuts, from a stall during the September fête and, presently, are being rehabilitated into the ways of proper children.  Buzz still has a tendency to scamper and climb trees rather than learn English, and for this, I cannot blame him. Bzz will often buzz and squeak, but this is perfectly normal in girls of her age, whatever their parentage.


Juan quickly explains that English is Latin slang, which consists of words stolen from other languages.  Buzz, pointing at Mary, Juan’s canary, said that he had read that ’canary’ was an example, and the word ‘canary’ is West African.  Bzz said that she had read that the canary came from the Canary Islands.  There was some disagreement and Bzz started to swarm.



Fortunately my old friend, King Bongo Mbo of Bali, north west Nigeria, called by, modelling his latest ‘Soft spiky’ hat, inspired by our friend Graham Campbell’s  New Hebridian ‘Fluffy’ range.  He tells us that, in his language, ‘canary’ is a light snack, which satisfies us. 


1. Mary.  2. Skylark.  3. Tree pipit.  4. Nightingale.  5. Goldfinch. 6. Robin.  7. Song thrush.  8. Sedge-warbler.  9. Skylark.  10. Blackbird.


I sketch Buzz and Bzz, Mary, and some other birds, and we invite some friends over to teach us some more stolen words.