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What is a cordwangle?

From:Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 10:09
The word "cordwangle" is found frequently in folk songs collected by the
famous folklorist and singer Rambling Syd Rumpo, and performed by him
during the 1960s on the BBC radio programme "Round the Horne". It appears
to have been an implement of some significance in rural England at some
point in the past, but the exact meaning of the word is now lost. However,
it occurs to me that such an assembly of amateur and professional linguists
as we have here might be able to reconstruct the meaning from known facts.
These I will document for your edification -

A cordwangle is usually found in the possession of a cordwangler, but at
sea may be found in the possession of a nurker.
A cordangle may be hung upon a line. However, if it is of poor quality,
this may lead to others sneering at it.
A cordwangle may be masked by the grunge upon one's splod. This,
unfortunately, can ruin the cordwangle.
A cordwangle can be bent, but this as inadvisible, as one may break it in
this manner.
Young couples are sometimes described as plighting their cordwangles.
An old man's cordwangle might make an ugly sight.

What can we deduce from this?*


*Apart from that Rambling Syd Rumpo was played by Kenneth Williams, and all
the songs were complete nonsense.


Michael Adams <michael.adams1@...>