Friday, 27 August 2010


I seem to be keeping busy around the house - making cupboards, putting up curtain track, a shower screen and so on. It's been good to make use of tools that hardly saw the light of day in the last couple of years before moving. Eventually I shall create a workshop in the garage. Looking at the names for tools in the Duden Bildwörterbuch I came across der gerade Fuchsschwanz. The illustration shows what looks like a dovetail saw and I have to admit the shape of the handle does look like a fox's brush. Previously I had thought der Fuchschwanz referred only to a handsaw with a flexible, unsupported blade - rip saw, cross cut saw, panel saw - and of course their handles look nothing like the tail of a fox. When I looked up Fuchsschwanz on the net I found only handsaws and a Wikipedia article says "Der Fuchschwanz ... besitzt keinen verdickten Rücken wie etwa die Feinsäge".

Just to confuse matters, there are two different plants called Fuchsschwanz and a dovetail joint is die Schwalbenschwanzverbindung - and, yes, the swallowtail butterfly is der Schwalbenschwanz. And just to prove German speaking people get confused take a look at Was fürn Werkzeug ist eigentlich ein Schwalbensschwanz