This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Saturday Rave: Rapunzel.

Ooh, there's a lot of misery in this story, and the plot gapes with holes at every turn.

But then putting characters somewhere where they have great trouble getting in or out will always cause trouble.

In some ways it's a shame the arch-plotter Agatha Christie wasn't around when the story was first being put together - though, I don't know, the whole thing has such an air of danger and strangeness and mystery that the holes serve to give us glimpses of mysteries and horrors yet more enticing than those before us.

Poor Rapunzel, anyway. Not only does she suffer horribly, but she's called after a vegetable - and not even a nice vegetable, but something, a rampion, which I understand has a root which tastes like a not-very-nice parsnip, and leaves which taste like not-very-nice spinach.

Oh, but I do wish the story was Scandivavian instead of German (or possibly French, or Persian, or Roman), because then she'd be a Swede, as well.*

Word To Use Today: rampion. Hm, the opportunities for chatting about obselete vegetables are, I must admit, few. It's a lovely word, though, and may be of use in such phrases as I'd rather eat a mouldy rampion. Or you could ask for rampions in your local supermarket and get a reputation for being...well, utterly bonkers.

The word rampion comes from the French raiponce and before that from the Old Italian raponzo, from the Latin pa, which means turnip.

*Sorry, this joke doesn't work in America - a swede is what I believe Americans call a rutabaga.

1 comment:

  1. I am very partial indeed to the story of Rapunzel and love the idea that she's called after a veggie. I kind of knew that but have chosen to forget it, esp when I was writing The Tower Room, now included in Happy Ever After. I reckon it's a terrific story and who cares about plot holes? I don't mind them one bit!!