Once upon a time there was a village in Dorset called Piddle. Or, more precisely, it was listed in 1212 as being called Pidela Walteri, which is Latin for Walter's Piddle. Piddle just meant lowland and Walter was, one assumes, the landowner.
Anyway, for some reason lost in the mists of medieval time, the Piddle got dropped and the Walter remained. In fact, it started to be called Walter's Farm, or in old English Walter's ton. Then people stopped pronouncing the L in Walter and it just became Water's ton. The important thing was that the people who lived there acquired the surname Waterstone. They had sex and had children who had sex and had children in a long, frenzied line of lust and procreation that led inevitably to the birth of Tim Waterstone in 1939. And his name had nothing to do with either water or stone.
Tim Waterstone founded Waterstones bookshops in 1981 and they are now the largest chain of bookshops in Britain. Then all it took was for me to write The Etymologicon and the lovely people at Waterstones to read and like it and a plan was formed. Essentially, I'm spending the day doing a word surgery. The idea is that you tweet a word to me with the hashtag #inkf and I'll do my best to tweet back with an explanation. Try to include @inkyfool and @waterstones.
It could all have been very different, though. If that Dorset village had dropped the other half of its name I would be teaming up with Piddles.
This is Wyre Piddle in Worcestershire, which I've actually visited.