This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Monday, 27 June 2011

Spot the frippet: cabbage.

Cabbage is marvellous stuff. It comes in white, green, red, and even black if the pan boils dry, as it is so apt to do.

Or there's the other sort of cabbage, which are off-cuts stolen by a tailor from a client's own cloth. It's this meaning that's given us the word cabbage which means to steal.

Or of course there's cabbage pastry, though as far as I know the cabbage bit is always known in its French form, choux. This is the stuff you use to make eclairs. Choux pastry is supposed to resemble a cabbage, though heaven only knows what sort of cabbage that might be and personally I'm not going anywhere near it.

Cabbagetown in Toronto is home to a large colony of artists: and is it possible to imagine a more highly inspiring and romantic name than that? 

Spot the frippet: cabbage. The word for the vegetable comes from the Norman French caboche, head, and before that from the Latin caput, which also means head.

The stealing-cloth word might well come from the Old French word cabas which means steal.

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