David Quantick is an Emmy-winning writer and broadcaster. He has written for many TV shows (Veep, The Thick Of It, Harry Hill’s TV Burp), for radio (The Blagger’s Guide, One, Broken Arts), and the comic That’s Because You’re A Robot. He is the author of the novels The Mule and Sparks, and How To Be A Writer is the sequel to the chart-topping writing guide, How To Write Everything.
“Heron – it keeps cropping up as a word and I don’t know why.
From Old French hairon; perhaps originally from a word imitative of its cry/shriek. A ‘handsaw‘ in Hamlet and a ‘heronsewe’ in Chaucer’s The Squire’s Tale.
“Mulch – the centrepiece of English life.
From Old English melsc, milisc, ‘mellow, sweet’.
“Wednesday – I love Wednesdays. The middle of the week, and for a while when I went to a school with half holidays, the best break ever. I was born in Sheffield, which has a football team with the best name ever, and I love The Undertones, who had a song called Wednesday Week. Also, you know, Woden.”
Old English wodnesdæg, ‘Woden’s day’, a Germanic calque of Latin dies Mercurii ‘day of Mercury’. During the Roman era Woden was interpreted as the ‘Germanic Mercury’.
Author photo: Rex Features