Coal-scuttle bonnet

Coal-scuttle bonnet

A perfect description of the late 18th century bonnet, likening it to a now defunct item.  Yet as a girl spending school holidays at our cousins’ farm in Derbyshire, I remember my great aunt Lena going out to the coal-shed and scooping up scuttle loads of black...
Well-seasoned meerschaum

Well-seasoned meerschaum

This is part of a description of the village schoolroom where the sometimes compassionate, sometimes ascerbic schoolmaster Bartle Massey tries to knock some learning, or at least letters of the alphabet, into the dunderheads of artisans and labourers who dutifully...
Liver-coloured foal

Liver-coloured foal

One of the most unusual descriptions of a colour I have come across, and I also liked the gawkiness of the foal. ‘… and beside her the liver-coloured foal with its head towards its mother’s flank, apparently still much embarrassed by its own...
Like frost and flowers

Like frost and flowers

An alternative alliteration for describing people as being like chalk and cheese.  Feel free to use it to inject some variety into your phrasing. ‘Him and th’ old Squire fit one another like frost and flowers.’ Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede...
Like a stealing sunbeam

Like a stealing sunbeam

This is as near as upright Mrs. Poyser gets to admitting she’s pleased as punch by a compliment just received.  I liked the alliterative ‘stealing sunbeam’. ‘… but a quiet complacency overspread her face like a stealing sunbeam…’ Source:...
Give me Irwine every time

Give me Irwine every time

A fine pair of metaphors for the differing effects of two men’s company – no doubt with whom I’d rather spend an evening, chatting in front of the fire. ‘Mr Irwine was like a good meal o’ victual, you were better for him without thinking on it,...
Ribbon when the colour’s gone

Ribbon when the colour’s gone

Mrs Poyner offering up her pithy view of many wives in the neighbourhood, during a good-natured discussion with her husband.  He settles their difference of opinion by assuring her he married well. ‘The poor draggle-tails o’ wives you see, like bits o’ gauze...
Poetry pressed out by pain

Poetry pressed out by pain

Poetry is one of the strongest channels for expressing pain, and I liked the use of the word ‘pressed’.  It implies a wine-making process, as if you emptied vat loads of painful must and then pressed out a small quantity of distilled language to be...
Which would you choose?

Which would you choose?

I would be hard put to choose but I think I would opt to leave behind a wall where peaches ripen.  And certainly better to go unknown than to burn like a meteor. ‘Better was it to go unknown and leave behind you an arch, a potting shed, a wall where peaches...

Pin It on Pinterest