This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 25 July 2011

Spot the frippet: jelly.

Jelly. A jolly word, I thought, to start the week.

Let's do the British/American thing first. In Britain what we call jelly is usually the rubbery fruit-flavoured dessert which those in America call jello or gelatin.

We unite, however, in naming clear or savory preserves jellies, so that's one reason fewer for the next World War.


Jelly is too weighty a subject for one post, but I must mention jelly shoes because they sound so mad (they're sandals made of soft plastic which looks like jelly) and royal jelly, which is too extraordinary to ignore.

Royal jelly is excreted from the heads of worker bees. It's fed to young bees for the first three days of their lives, and also to queen bees.

If a queen dies, or becomes weak, then the workers will continue to feed royal jelly to a young bee, and this will make her turn into a new queen.

So as far as I can see this means the stuff's magic, then.

Spot the frippet: jelly.  This word comes to us from the Old French gelee, which means frost as well as jelly, and before that from geler, to set hard, from the Latin gelu, frost. 

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