Newt by Annet Stirling

Newt by Annet Stirling

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This carving in Welsh Slate by Annet Stirling, celebrates the word ‘Newt’, and was created as part of our exhibition ‘The Lost Words - Forget-me-not.’ For this exhibition artists have created a permanent record of the natural words removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Size: 28 x 41cm

NOUN: NEWT

A small slender-bodied amphibian with lungs and a well-developed tail, typically spending its adult life on land and returning to water to breed.

Triturus and other genera, family Salamandridae: numerous species

ORIGIN: Late Middle English: from an ewt ( ewt from Old English efeta: see eft), interpreted (by wrong division) as a newt.

I have newts in my pond – and I bought The Lost Words for my granddaughter Annabelle, who is at the moment too small to read it herself. So when this exhibition came up I liked the idea of doing my bit and newts it was. They provide an endless amount of quiet pleasure when you watch them in the water, graceful and unpredictable, sunning themselves and stealing food from the goldfish. I once dug one up when planting bulbs and found out that they can live both in and out of the water. This one was hibernating under my hedge.

By splitting the word newt down the middle I refer both to the above and below water life of the amphibian and the word that is in danger of being lost.

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