From one of my favorite books, West with the Night by Beryl Markham, page xii (Introduction by Sara Wheeler), I learned a new word that I’ve since found many opportunities to use. “She was born in Central England in 1902 and moved as a toddler to British East Africa, now Kenya, with her father, Charles Clutterbuck, a failed army officer and racehorse trainer. (Beryl’s mother had scarpered with a colonel, taking Beryl’s brother with her.) Clutt, as her father was known, bought 1,500 acres at Njoro, between the Mau Forest and the Rongai valley, and there he milled flour and timber: by 1907 he had more than a thousand Kavirondo and Kikuyu on payroll. The girl Beryl was left to run wild with Kipsigi boys, wearing a cowrie shell on a leather thong around her wrist to ward off evil sprits. She ate with her hands, her first language was Swahili, and she could hurl a spear as well as her playmates.”

Scarper, skahr-per

verb (used without object), British

  1. to flee or depart suddenly, especially without having paid one’s bills.

    1. Krista Butters Davis says:

      This is a new word for me. I personally don’t know anyone who has scarpered before, but I can bet it happens all the time. Especially those from harsh countries trying to get away to a better place.

    2. Nielsen,Winifred T. says:

      New word for me too! I have not done that many badges, but I did do the one of learning new words and it was not only fun but helpful

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