This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 3 October 2011

Spot the frippet: marble.

An odd, unconvincing word, marble. Say it ten times, and it's hard to believe it means anything at all (go on, try it!) let alone a bit of super-polished stone. (Recrystallized limestone, if you're interested. Which, I should imagine, you probably aren't.)

You can find marble on the walls of posh banks; the surfaces of posh kitchens; in portrait busts; and in the tombs of long-dead VIPs  (those assailed when alive, I should imagine, with the fear that they weren't quite important enough).

Two of my favourite works of art ever are made of marble:


The first is an ancient sculpture called The Dying Gaul, and the second is the heart-breakingly beautiful tomb of Penelope Boothby, sculpted by Thomas Banks.

Of course some marbles aren't made of marble at all, but of glass.

And then there are the invisible marbles. In Britain, if you've lost your marbles you've gone crazy, and in Australia if you've passed in your marbles you've died.

But it's not all bad news on the marble front: an Australian who has made his marbles good has done the right thing, or been a big success.

Make your marbles good today!

Spot the frippet: marble. This word comes from the Latin word marmor, and before that from the Greek word marmarien, to gleam.

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