There are men who have spent some considerable time chasing flibbertigibets.
The spectral lights which often appear above marshes are more commonly called will o’ the wisps: a flibbertygibbet first appeared in middle English in about 1450 as fleper-gebet. It was a nonsense-string of works to copy the chatter of a flighty, talkative person and that s what it meant at first: but it had acquired far more sinister connotations by the time Major Louis Blesson got hold of it.
The Major wrote about his adventures with flibbertigibbets in the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal in 1832.
He had stalked the lights in a valley-marsh, noting that small bubbles would float to the surface. And as night fell, to his joy, bluish-purple flames were to be seen hovering there above the water’s surface. Natural phenomenon though they may well have been, when the good major tried to approach them they darted…
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