This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 2 May 2011

Spot the frippet: mattress.

In Southern England at the moment the hedgerows are in full blossom, and beneath them the verges are full of bluebells, stitchwort, geraniums, speedwell...

...crisp packets, beer cans...

...hops, dandelions, daisies, archangel...

...the occasional mattress...

The mattresses always surprise me. I mean, if you want to dump a mattress it's surely safer, easier, and just as cheap to dump it at the...well, at the dump.

Anyway, mattresses aren't like crisp packets. I can see that someone might be walking along carrying an empty crisp packet. Throwing it away in a hedgerow is wicked and wrong and just makes the world uglier, but I can see how a bad person might come to do it.

But a mattress???

Ah well, perhaps there's something going on here I don't understand.

Spot the frippet: mattress.  I expect you have one of these on your bed, but if you fancy a challenge then a Dutch Mattress is a mat made of brushwood and poles that stops banks wearing away. A mattress is also the name of the concrete or steel raft used as a foundation for some buildings (have a look at a conservatory or greenhouse), and of the steel rods used for reinforced concrete, too.

The word mattress comes from the Italian word materasso, and before that from the Arabic almatrah, which means a place where something is thrown.

Ah, now perhaps I begin to understand all those dumped mattresses...


  1. Oh this is so true. Things like crisp packets I can at least see people just chucking out the window as they pass, but to move a mattress they must have made a conscious decision to get it into the car/van, and then dump it there...well, if you're already moving the mattress, why not just take it to the bloomin' dump! Its not like it was just floating around the car, and you decided to chuck it out the window! Sigh...

  2. Hi, Headspace! Wonderful to hear from you.
    Odd, people, aren't they?
    How about the idiots who tie up their dogs' poo in pastic bags and then THROW THE BAGS INTO TREES instead of into the bins provided?
    Ah well! The weirder people are the easier it is to write novels, I suppose.