Chichester Copywriter Good marketing starts with good words

Though owls aren’t wise, falconry shaped the English language

Those of you who know about Chichester Copywriter’s other creative venture, DillyWorm Crafts, will be aware of Katy’s penchant for owls. This was celebrated by an Owl Experience Day at the English School of Falconry and Birds of Prey Centre in Bedfordshire this July. But who knew what an impact the art of falconry has had on the English language?

Not only did Katy hold a European Eagle Owl (the heaviest owl), a Tawny Owl (beautiful Indie who kept twitting) and a lovely little Rufous Owl but she also got to fly an Eagle Owl and a Black-banded Owl. Best of all, our professional copywriter got to stroke a delightfully downy Barn Owl chick – awww! Our lover of all things literary also enjoyed an owl display featuring lots of the majestic birds flying around to the score from Harry Potter.

Along with lots of creative writing inspiration, here’s what Chichester Copywriter brought away from the day:

Some facts about owls:

  • Owls are not wise, in fact their brains are about the size of a peanut, but they’re incredibly beautiful nonetheless.
  • Not all owls are nocturnal. You can identify which owls are active during the day by their lighter amber eyes. Alternatively, nocturnal owls have darker brown/black eyes.
  • The owl is closely related to the Night Jar.


Some familiar words and phrases deriving from falconry:

  • Fed-up – a hawk no longer wants to hunt once it’s full-up or fed-up so this is now used to describe people that don’t want to/ can’t be bothered to do something.
  • Going boozing – bows is a word used to describe a falcon’s drinking bowl and bowsing is used to describe the way a bird drinks. Because raptors tend to drink to excess (much like they do when feeding, see above) the act of humans drinking to excess, particularly alcohol, has become known as boozing.
  • Under the thumb/wrapped around his little finger – a falcon is attached to a leash to stop it flying away so when the bird sits on a falconer’s arm he’ll put part of that leash under his thumb or wrap it around his little finger to maintain control of the bird.
  • Cadging a lift – the falcon’s portable perch which is carried out into the field is known as a cadge so cadging is now used to describe people getting a lift or something else for free.
  • A mantle-piece– when a bird lifts its wings up to cover its prey it’s known as mantling or to mantle so a mantle has become known as a cover of sort, including the mantle-piece which covers a fireplace.

While in the area, Chichester Copywriter also visited the gorgeous Swiss Garden next door to the Birds of Prey Centre, which had many enchanting buildings waiting to be discovered. The following day, Cambridge Folk Festival got her creative juices flowing – watching a ceilidh was truly invigorating. She finished off a totally inspirational weekend away with an afternoon in The Orchard Tea Garden and surrounding meadows at Grantchester, where the likes of Rupert Brooke, EM Forster, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath spent time musing about their next poems or novels.

For more photographs of owls, the Swiss Gardens and Grantchester please visit our Facebook Page.

To benefit from Chichester Copywriter’s recent creative writing inspirations, please contact us for a quote on your copywriting project. Whether it’s SEO copywriting for a website or copy for a brochure, Chichester Copywriter knows that good marketing starts with good words.

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