It wasn't until I just typed it out I realised what a funny word "eavesdropping" is. So before I tell you what I overhead last Sunday I had to look up the origin of the word.
First, the word eaves (it's usually plural) refers to the edge of a roof that overhangs the side of a building. It's an Old English word, related to words in other Germanic languages, and is probably related to above and over.
Still in the Old English period, we have the word eavesdrop (or eavesdrip) 'the water that drips from eaves', and then 'the ground on which water drips from eaves'.
By the late fifteenth century, the word eavesdropper became current in English law, meaning literally 'a person who stands on the eavesdrop of a house to listen to what is happening inside'.
Finally, the verb eavesdrop is a back formation from this, meaning literally 'to stand on the eavesdrop of a house to listen to what is happening inside', and figuratively 'to listen secretly to a private conversation'. The verb is first recorded in the early seventeenth century and has been in common use ever since.
Now that's sorted I'll get back to what I started to tell you. This is exactly what I overhead someone saying last Sunday.
"You should see my cock now"
My initial re-action was to chime in with "well if we must!" or "now?" but I restrained myself!
Needless to say he went on to say "when I bought him his plummage was dreadful......"
So what's the funniest thing you've overheard?