So the like or loath it, the badger cull has started in Somerset, with much controversy and protest from badger-lovers in the county.
In that light, and knowing that ‘brock’ is an Old English term for ‘badger’, I wondered if Somerset had an old term for Tommy Brock .
I’ve searched high and low (and even down to the Setts) to see if I can find one, but so far, to no avail. ‘Brock’, incidentally, is derived from Celtic, as ‘broc’ is an Irish (and I expect Scottish) word for Badger. But before I go off on a tangent about an odd Irish custom of wearing sticks in yer wellies, I’ll continue on with the point of this post…
Despite not having a colloquial term for a badger, the word ‘Brock’ does have another meaning in Somerset. According to my old trusty ‘Lost Words in the Somersetshire Dialect’, brock was a piece of turf for fuel. A quick search of the t’interweb revealed that coincidentally, or not, there is a fuel company in the US called Brock and Son. So maybe Brock was a company name in Somerset for turf, much like Hoover, or Biro. As not too many houses (I would guess) would use turf on their fires now (if they have an open fire) in Somerset, I expect this term, as well as burning turf, fell out of use.
So we have two conundrums here. Does Somerset indeed have a word for ‘badger’, and is the term ‘brock’ still used for fuel for a fire?
And I managed to get through this entire article without even mentioning, let alone posting a link to that Brian May version of the Badger song.
Oh, go on then…
I take no pleasure in this.