This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Filling in - a rant.

Gifts to English from all over the world are very welcome. They make the language shinier, more exciting, more precise and more beautiful. 

But may I point out that although in many parts of the world a form may be either filled in or filled out, in England the only thing that can be filled out with propriety is a bra.

Thank you.

Word To Use Today: bra. This word is a shortened form of brassiere (in Britain this long form is used only by very old-fashioned and expensive shops).  Brassière is the French for undershirt or harness, from the Old French braciere, a protector for the arm or later a breast plate, from braz, which means arm.


  1. Combining comments about bra and bum, above: Word Den is an education. I had no idea about bumbailiffs but I do know about bum notes and also a bum rap!
    As for bra, it's strange, how old-fashioned 'brassiere' sounds nowadays. Love the origin of that too!

  2. Thanks Adele - soutien-gorge is also physiologically a bit misplaced!
    Aren't we all coy?