Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker here since 2008.

Sunday 19 November 2023

Wags and Wogs

Who would have thought
that the American word scalawag
originated from a term for Shetland ponies
from the island of Scalloway)
via Scalag, Gaelic for servant.
There may be an influence from the word wag:
a playful and/or witty male.

Polliwog is a dialect word for tadpole,
and thus a term for a sailor
who has never crossed The Line (Equator)....

...which perhaps influenced
the now rarely-used word golliwog,
for 'a type of grotesque blackface doll'
coined by English children's book author
and illustrator Florence K. Upton in 1895.

Many kids had golliwogs when I was young.
I didn't, though I always wanted to be black.
I had a hand-made, mid-brown teddy-bear
called Dandy who had two quite different eyes,
and had belonged to my uncle Mac.

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