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Happy Birthday Mr Booth

Who has noticed Google's Doodle today? It caught my eye because its a Victorian gentleman vacuuming a carpet. Not something many Victorians did, particularly men.

The man in the cartoon is Hubert Cecil Booth, my new hero!

He was the inventor of the vacuum cleaner. And I always thought that the first vacuum must have been made by Mr Hoover, as the UK's most favourite vacuum cleaner was the Hoover. But the Hoover didn't come into the home until the 1920's

So why do we say Hoovering when we are vacuuming our carpets with our Henry, Dyson or Vax? Simple because the Hoover was such a popular machine in the UK that the name of the machine gave birth to the action of cleaning the carpet, and even today 'to hoover' appears in some dictionaries as the 'action of vacuuming a carpet'.

So what if Hubert Cecil Booth's machine had been the number one vacuum machine, would we now be Ceciling the carpet, or giving the lounge a quick Booth?

Come to think about it, if any other machine had be more popular than the Hoover then we could be Henrying or Dysoning, and knowing our use of English these would have been too much of a mouthful and we would have shortened them to Hening or Dying, hmm, on that though I think I'll do a bit of Vaxing while I think of how much easier Hubert Cecil Booth had made our lives.

Thank you Mr Booth and happy birthday.

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