Clocks

Sundials
Ancient people used the position of the sun to tell the time. In poor weather, they could never be sure they would be on time; hence the term “early man”.

Clockwork
Exclamation by the inventor of the first wind-up timepiece.

Alarm clocks
Became popular in the 14th Century after the fourth attempt to start the battle of Agincourt on time failed. Henry V got fed up with saying “once more unto the breach” and finding out that the French were still a-bed, holding their manhoods cheap, upon St Crispin’s day.

Water-clocks
Ocean-going devices that transported times to countries that were behind them.

Clock tower
Used to pull water-clocks into port.

Chronometer
A crucial aid to navigation, invented so that sailors could know, to the second, what time it was that they got lost.

Swiss movement
Alpine dancing.

Speaking clock
Rude timepiece where the numbers have to be bleeped out.

GMT
The time breakfast television starts.

BST
Sexually transmitted cattle disease common in the summer.

Wristwatch
Device to play games, MP3s, record audio, and display one’s wealth which may, if you’re lucky, also tell you you’ve been fiddling with it so long you’re late for work.

Cuckoo clock
Kicks other clocks off the mantelpiece.

Grandfather clock
Goes on and on about the old times.

Digital clock
When you forget your watch and have to count the hours on your fingers.

Hands
Integral to the digital clock.

Hourglass
Not much use after one o’clock.

Body clock
Made by Amazonian Indians from recycled loofahs. Also moisturises.

Tick-tock
Small mint-flavoured timepiece.

Conclusion
Clockwatching is a modern disease. It’s time to fight back. Or, at least, it will be when the alarm goes off.

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