This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 21 November 2011

Spot the frippet: aglet.

This must be one of the most charming words of all time, and it's not very well known even though we live our lives surrounded by them.

No, though aglets may sound like a particularly endearing form of young animal (a newly furred, wide-eyed ag, obviously. Whatever an ag might be*)  they're actually those things that are clamped around the ends of shoelaces to make them easier to thread through the holes.

As if that isn't a reason enough for the word aglet's existence, it's also a much easier spelling of aiguillette, which is one of those bits of metallic cord which soldiers like to wear across their chests to make themselves look more important.

If you're wearing Tudor costume, then you'll probably be using aglets to keep your sleeves on and your hose from falling down, too.

They can also be metallic spangles or studs sewn onto clothes, or  catkins, or a corset-laces.

Spot the frippet: aglet. This word comes from the Old French word aiguillette, which means small needle.

*Apart from a much-used exclamation in South Africa and the chemical symbol for silver, naturally.

1 comment:

  1. This is completely fascinating. I'd never heard of an aglet before though it must be a close relative of a word I know very well: EYELET which is a hole in lace knitting. There you go!