Word Collection: Godwottery
Decades ago, Thomas Brown wrote a little poem to describe the items adorning his garden. The word “wot” is a variant of the archaic “to wit” (or, to know), and therefore, the meaning of the first line translated to “God knows!”
But as a result of Brown’s somewhat sentimental verse, “godwottery” became a word with another, perhaps, more suitable definition: “An affected or over-elaborate style of gardening or attitude towards gardening.”
In other words, one who is inclined to overly-dress one’s garden with gnomes, wagon wheels, pink flamingos, and wading pools flanked by cherubs, might be declared to have descended to godwottery.
A GARDEN is a lovesome thing, God wot!
The veriest school
Of peace; and yet the fool
Contends that God is not—
Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool?
Nay, but I have a sign;
’Tis very sure God walks in mine.
~ Thomas Edward Brown (1830-1897)
P.S. Alas, “godwottery” is not even a valid Scrabble word.