Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Jan 22 23:48:40 UTC 2012

 From another list.  Can anyone cast light?

Can anybody tell me what Hesketh Pearson and Hugh Kingsmill meant when
they used "yarrow" as a verb, in their book SKYE HIGH? My SHORTER OED
wasn't helpful. The OED online wasn't helpful either, nor was an online
Scottish dictionary. If they didn't invent the term, where did they find
it and why did they enjoy using it? In a section titled "Yarrowing in Earnest"
(on p. 213 of the Hamish Hamilton first edition, 1937) their use of the term
seems humorous and ironic. Their book is a record of the journey they took
to retrace the famous journey to the Hebrides that both Boswell and Johnson
described in their separate accounts of their excursion. My only reason for
bringing this up is mere curiosity, stimulated by a last look at this work
before I donate it to one or another local library for a future book sale.

I believe--but please correct me if I'm wrong--that yarrowing is a
idiom for travelers and means to skip visiting a place for some
reason or another and the word inspired by Wordsworth's poem "Yarrow


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