That's what I'm on, thin ice. I may have been a word-obsessive nearly all my life, but I know that any knowledge I have acquired is no more than a fragile crust over a sea of churning kraken-infested ignorance.
Actually, not churning, or the ice would crack.
See what I mean?
Anyway, it's freezing here and there's ice on the pond and the compost bin. Now, ice is easy - Old English is, Old Norse iss (there should be accent-lines over the i s in both those words but I don't know how to do it yet, sorry) but hang on, what about icicle?
Well, I've always thought that an icicle was something made of ice that was...ickle. As in an ickle bit. You know, tiny.
But no. Icle comes from the Old English gicel, which is related to the Old Norse jokull (that o should have dots on top, sorry, I can't do those yet either) which means glacier.
And...hang on...I've come across that word before. Yes, that's right, last year's Icelandic volcano was Eyafjallajoekull. Except that of course it couldn't have been. That must have been the name of a glacier which covered it.
Wow. From a tiny finger of ice to a fire big enough to spread ash over thousands of miles, all in one word.
Thing to find today: ice.
Well, there's always the fridge...