Rolicking Rebuses

I’ve found a little side-line in running books to and from my local library for my mother. She’s a big fan of detective fiction.

She’s currently working her way through Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels. Now, a rebus is where you use pictures to represent parts of a word. It was historically used as a heraldic device in the Middle Ages. An example from that era would be that of the personal device used by the 16th century Bishop of Exeter Hugh Oldham:


Owl-dom… Oldham… Hugh Oldham… geddit? A bit corny, I know.

One can make one’s own up. For instance:

Bee-Leaf… Belief:


Eye-Saw… Eyesore:


And the ultimate in rebuses (rebi?), Tony Hancock:


OK, I’ll stop there.


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