Historical words in December? Hmmm. While I searched for a good word, I was drawn to one of my favorite genres to read.
Early twentieth century British mysteries.
Huh? Yes, I love writers like Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, and Agatha Christie. With sleuths like Lord Peter Wimsey, Albert Campion, and Hercule Poirot, what’s not to love? And who can forget Miss Marple?
In recently purchasing and reading The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers, I came across several passages alluding to Sherlock Holmes.
“I’m sure I don’t know,” said Mrs. Venables, gingerly examining the objects before her. “I’m afraid I’m not a Sherlock Holmes…”
“A colleague, as Sherlock Holmes would say, after my own heart,” said Wimsey, as he unfolded the thin enclosure.
“…My dear Watson, it’s staring you in the face…”
There was also the term “sherlocking” used in another place in The Nine Tailors, referring to someone investigating in a way similar to Sherlock Holmes. I found it fascinating that this novel by Ms. Sayers written in 1934 referred to this character so many times, a character first introduced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887.
I conducted my own investigation at dictionary.com. Sherlock is an old English name meaning “fair-headed.”
Also Sherlock-noun, informal. 1. a private detective. 2. a person remarkably adept at solving mysteries, especially by using insight and logical deduction: Who’s the sherlock who can tell me where my pen is? A 21st century slang for Sherlock means a clever and perceptive person.
Books, comics, short stories, television, movies, games, puzzles, radio, societies and screen plays have all sprung from a single character evolved in the mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Amazing.
What character names or phrases do you know that have taken on a life of their own?
Today’s writing prompt: Lila twirled a blonde curl as she winked at the young man in front of her. “Who do ya think you are? Sherlock Holmes?” Her laughter rang…
Pictures from Wikipedia Commons.