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Havering

July 16, 2017

Yesterday I was driving through the London Borough of Havering, and this got me thinking about the word havering, which has different meanings depending on whether you are English or Scottish. For an English person, the London Borough of Havering suggests a borough where nobody can ever make their minds up about anything. For a Scottish person, it suggests a borough where everybody talks nonsense all the time. For in English English, haver means to dither; while in Scottish English, it means to say silly things (as in the Proclaimers’ song 500 Miles: “And when I haver/ I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you”).

That’s all I have on havering, folks.

P.S. May I bring to your attention my comic fantasy YA novel The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers – here is the link: https://unbound.com/books/adam-gowers . Go there and you will see a neat little 2-minute video of me explaining why the time for this novel has come! And if you support it you will get your name in the back and an invitation to the launch party.

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3 Comments
  1. Simon Carter permalink

    Shakespeare uses a heteronym of haver in Coriolanus as a noun for have. Makes sense really: own – owner, have – haver.
    Why was Havering chosen for the borough? Perhaps they couldn’t decide on a name.

  2. It’s rare that one gets a chance to correctly use a precise word like ‘heteronym’ – nice!

  3. Simon Carter permalink

    It’s one of those words that gets stuck in the brain awaiting the opportunity to be used. There should be a word for that. A glossapine?

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