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The obscure word of the week is cuckooning

October 30, 2019

Fascinating story. I love the word, but can’t think of a sentence for it.

Matthew Wright

This week’s obscure English word is cuckooning.

It was coined by Lady Cynthia Asquith (1887-1960) to describe her lifestyle during the First World War. Her husband, Herbert ‘Beb’ Asquith, was serving in France; she was left to bring up their two young sons. Although she was daughter of Hugo Charteris, the 11th Earl of Wemyss – which gave her the title – neither she nor Beb had much money. As a result, she rented out the town-house she owned, for income, and instead wafted about her friends, staying with them for long periods and enjoying the London high-life of the day with friends such as D. H Lawrence, who later based his character Lady Connie Chatterley on Cynthia.

Cynthia Asquith in 1923. Via Wikipedia.

Towards the end of the war Cynthia Asquith became secretary to J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, and she later became a prominent writer…

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