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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Tailorbird ..... Taylor, who ??

Possibly one of the first English words that we (Tamil medium folks)  started using was Tailor .. .. .. there were so many tailor shops – on the compound of Sri Parthasarathi swami temple, at Peyalwar koil street – there was a small 8 x 6 shop – Jupiter Tailors at Big Street / Alangatha pillai St was much bigger ! – VIP tailors was a famous name – and in 1980s a well dressed bearded Cheenu stitched his pant for Rs.100/- - we spoke about that !! 

After learning the English word for the person who stitches clothes as Tailor, we developed doubt on whether it is ‘Taylor’ or ‘Tailor’ and one Prof told me that Taylor is a name; Tailor is a profession !  .. .. ?!? – perhaps some Spanish/ Latin  connection.  "Taylor" is a proper noun which is often translated as "Taylor", and "tailor" is a noun which is often translated as "el sastre".  A tailor helps make your clothes fit you better. The word tailor comes from the Latin taliare, meaning "to cut." A tailor is someone who cuts and adjusts your clothing to better fit. When you tailor a jacket, you have it taken in to better suit your physique. 

Read that  letter Y was at one time far more commonly used where we nowadays would use the letter I. The reason we now use I is because, in the course of the Nineteenth Century, scholarship about words improved dramatically, and scholars discovered that lots of these words they had been spelling with a Y came originally from Latin, which had really used an I; and which had only used Y for words of Greek origin. 

Down under, when India played Aussie in finals of ODI championship, Krish Srikkanth was brilliantly caught by a jumping Peter Taylor – Taylor who ? .. .. had read that the man  answered the car-phone, he  had just begun a 650km drive to visit family in Sydney. Their 18-year-old son Charlie was making his way in grade cricket as an offspinner for Northern District, where Peter had played.Peter grew up in Sydney. His family owned a car dealership, but, uninterested in selling cars, he studied agricultural science at the University of Sydney. He hoped one day to become a farmer. He had been an outstanding junior cricketer, at the same time as Allan Border, and when the new of his selection was made known to him – he expected it to be  Mark Taylor and asked ‘Taylor-who ?’. 

His final Test was against India, at the MCG in 1991. He was replaced by Shane Warne for the Sydney Test.  Taylor later  bought a wheat and cotton property outside Moree, which he still farms, and has since developed a cattle property at Inverell. For a while in the late 1990s he was an Australian selector. 

This Taylor is not the subject matter of the post – but someother Tailor, a bird ! 

In serene atmosphere, you hear them loud .. . chirpy and in a trice, they fly away ! flirting between trees and shrubs … found hard to capture them on lens.   They make an intriguing quirk   Understand them to be ‘common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius)’,  a songbird found across tropical Asia. Popular for its nest made of leaves "sewn" together and immortalized by Rudyard Kipling as Darzee in his Jungle Book. 

Yesterday was able to capture some clicks of the chirpy bird !!  

Away from Mark Taylor, Ross Taylor, little known Peter Taylor, Sarah Taylor [the wicketkeeper batswoman, played for Sussex alongside men too]………….the local Tailor was the person who made and altered clothing for men and women…. while ‘women’s tailor’ still exist – the men’s tailors are fast vanishing in city.  


Just into the new year of 1987, Dirk Wellham and Peter Taylor were  driving back down the freeway to Sydney together after playing for New South Wales against Tasmania in Newcastle. Peter Taylor had taken just one wicket: Neville Jelich, caught by a young, highly regarded Mark Taylor, who was being talked about as a future Test opener and Test captain, the way Prime Minister Bob Hawke had once been talked about as a future leader.  Holiday-makers woke up  to huge newspaper headlines: "Peter Who?" Channel Nine's Morning Show host Steve Liebmann went on to tell  the slow-rising nation that his producers are trying to find out who Peter Taylor is, and where he lives.  .. .. and by the time  Peter Taylor got up at Sydney, there were  well-dressed reporters and outside-broadcast crews with satellite dishes on his footpath. He played 13 Tests and 83 ODIs for Australia. 

More than the stunning catch I saw him take, I am happy with the catch of Tailorbird featured here at the start. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th Jan 2022
Peter taylor photo : © Popperfoto/Getty Images

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