This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Spot the frippet: willow.

Here in Southern England the twigs of the weeping willows are a bright blazing ochre, and on the pussy willow the first furry silver paws are emerging.

Mind you, it's so cold that I keep expecting the daffodils to change their minds and start retreating back down into the ground again - but you can't have everything.

Spot the frippet: willow. If you can't find a willow tree (try near a river or somewhere else wet) then baskets are sometimes made of willow, and so are woven fences. If all fails, try watching the cricket world cup: the bats are made of willow!

Willow. This word is from the Old English welig, which is related to the Old Saxon wilgia, which means wicker basket. Before that there was the Greek word helikÄ“, and this meant willow, so the meaning of this word has gone off in a long circle.

If you can have a long circle...

Anyway, the Greek word helikÄ“ comes from helix, which means twisted. And I suppose very old willow trees do become hunched and twisted, now I come to think about it. 

All rather neat, I think.

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