15 JULY 1893, Page 18


[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."' Sin,—The cock-bird is always called the " Tom "-bird in this part of Hampshire, as Mr. Leonard tells your readers (Spectator, June 24th) it is in Oxfordshire. Shortly after I came to reside in Liss, I, having ordered a couple of fowls from a farmer's wife, was told by the little girl who brought them, " Mother is very sorry, but she was forced to send you a Torn, she had killed all the fowls but one." "Open the basket, cook, and let me see what they have sent," I exclaimed,—for, to be quite candid, I had some vague notion of seeing a tom-cat jump out, as I had been inquiring in the village for a good rat-kitten.

I soon found that drakes, cock-pheasants, mallards, turkeys, geese, &c., in fact, all male birds, and some other animals-- rabbits especially—are here called " Toms."—I am, Sir, &c., H. E. W.