Clegg (or cleg): northern English/Scottish name for a horse-fly.
Why did I choose this? I’ve just been bitten by one! We’re in the French Pyrenees, sitting by the river in the beautiful Vallėe du Lys, in a field of wild flowers in the shade of a silver birch tree. The only negative is the presence of the numerous, blood-seeking horse-flies.
Male horse-flies feed on nectar and pollen, as do the females, but the latter need a meal of blood before they can breed. Horse-flies are generally ‘slash feeders’ (as I recall from Zoology 101 at uni) i.e. they slice the flesh to release the victim’s blood, rather than piercing/sucking like a mosquito.
(I can confirm the preceding paragraph as I have just slapped a horse-fly from the back of my leg, and I am bleeding freely!)
Fortunately (?) the discomfort of the fly’s initial cut warns the human victim before much damage is done and, unlike some insects, horse-flies rarely manage to avoid the retaliatory slap! What keeps them away in the first place? Something containing Deet ™ will usually deter them.
I don’t have a photo of a horse-fly, but I do have a photo of the view from where I am typing.
Final tidbit: as I typed ‘clegg’ the spellchecker suggested I should amend that to ‘clergy’. Who said spellcheckers don’t have a sense of humour?
Final, final tidbit: this is the second Word of the Week harvested from one of the books in Peter May’s Lewis trilogy (read them) the first being desuetude.If you found this entry interesting, a mention on Facebook or a tweet would be good! Thanks.