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The Serial Comma


stalking horse

Definition of stalking horse


  • a person or thing that is used to conceal someone’s real intentions: you have used me simply as a stalking horse for some of your more outrageous views
  • a candidate in an election for the leadership of a political party who stands only in order to provoke the election and thus allow a stronger candidate to come forward: [as modifier]:a stalking-horse challenge
  • screen traditionally made in the shape of a horse behind which a hunter may stay concealed when stalking prey.


Early 16th century: from the former practice of using a horse trained to allow a fowler to hide behind it, or under its coverings, until within easy range of prey.

Oxford Dictionaries


Meaning in falconry

Derived meaning

In a bate Bating: trying to fly off when tethered In a panic
With bated breath Bated: tethered, unable to fly free Restrained and focused by expectation
Fed up Of a hawk, with its crop full and so not wanting to hunt No longer interested in something
Hawked it up The sound of a hawk expelling the indigestible parts of a meal Clearing phlegm from the throat
Haggard Of a hawk, caught from the wild when adult Looking exhausted and unwell, in poor condition; wild or untamed
Under his/her thumb the hawk’s feet when pinned by the thumb Tightly under control
Wrapped round his/her little finger Of the hawk’s leash when wrapped round the little finger Tightly under control
Lure Originally a device used to recall hawks. The hawks, when young, were trained to associate the device (usually a bunch of feathers) with food. To tempt with a promise/reward/bait
Rouse To shake one’s feathers Stir or awaken
Pounce Referring to a hawk’s claws, later derived to refer to birds springing or swooping to catch prey Jump forward to seize or attack something
To turn tail
Fly away To turn and run away







Editing marks, sort of

Daylight Savings Conspiracy

From Australia where they know it all


Four years of college, lots of money and plenty of knowledge have earned me this useless degree.

374432_485918858121817_1338007548_nSooo Sorry!

Let’s be polite when we have an accident


Pinning words to page

Wake up from a dream and you know the feeling of what you have lived and where you have been; what dangers you were in or what romance was blossoming. Try and describe the dream … and so much is missing.

Write a story and you know the vivid pictures you have in your mind. It’s so difficult to pin down the colours and feelings on the page. Fluttering, breaking wings, falling, just the dust of wings on the page.

Every piece of writing is a shadow, a reflection, a hint.


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