Word for Wednesday: C is for…chittering.

Stardust was the very first story our little girl ever heard (sort of!), as we read it aloud – to her – while I was pregnant. So it holds special memories for us as a family.  As well as being a fantastic book, it will also be one of the first ‘grown up’ books we read to her.

Before I met my husband I am ashamed to say that I had never read anything by Neil Gaiman. An English writer, with an astonishingly wide range under his belt, Gaiman’s work includes short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films.

As the biggest bookworm I’ve ever met, and an avid fan of Neil Gaiman’s for many years, it would be fair to say that my husband was pretty appalled I’d never even heard of him.  Shortly after he bought me my very own copy of Stardust.  I fell head over heels in love with Gaiman’s style and storytelling prowess, and read Stardust cover to cover over a weekend.

If you’ve never read anything by Neil Gaiman, Stardust is a great place to start. American Gods and The Ocean at the End of the Lane as two of his others that I have read and loved.  Coraline and The Graveyard Book also had me at the edge of my seat a times, even though they are technically classed as children’s books.

In light of the association in my mind between this book and reading to a child, I’ve chosen an amusing, onomatopoeic word for this Wednesday.

Chitter (verb)

  • make a twittering or chattering sound.

derivation: Middle English chiteren, probably of imitative origin. First Known Use: 13th century.

‘As the day of the fair approached the atmosphere of anticipation mounted.  People were waking earlier, counting days, counting minutes.  The guards on the gate, at the sides of the wall, were restive and nervous.  Figures and shadows moved in the trees at the edge of the meadow.

In the Seventh Magpie, Bridget Comfrey, who was widely regarded as the most beautiful pot-girl in living memory, was provoking friction between Tommy Forester, with whom she had been seen to step out over the previous year, and a huge man with dark eyes and a small, chittering monkey.  The man spoke little English, but he smiled expressively whenever Bridget came by’.

      (Neil Gaiman, Stardust).

A real cheeky chappy, chittering away beside the path...until he was transfixed by these stolen spoils from a passing tourist. Banana heaven!

A real cheeky chappy, chittering away beside the path…until he was transfixed by these stolen spoils from a passing tourist. Comedy face!

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