This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Thing To Do Today: sprinkle.

Is there a word in the English language more full of delicate joy than sprinkle?

Er...yes, quite probably, but at the moment I can't think what it could be.

You can sprinkle confettii, water (especially if it's holy water), happiness.

In England the water-sprinkling thing is pretty much constantly on automatic,* but if by any chance it's not raining or snowing where you are, then you can sprinkle...well, sprinkles. These are tiny pieces of sugar or chocolate (or, quite often, sugar pretending to be chocolate). If you're English you'll buy a small tub of them and then leave them in the cupboard until you move house, when you'll throw them away. If you are Dutch, however, you will buy them in half kilogram boxes and eat them on bread and butter.

As long as it makes them happy...

If you don't fancy bread and sprinkles, then you can always do the sprinkler dance, where you pretend to be a...well, a sprinkler. You put your left hand behind your neck and turn round in a circle waving your extended right hand about as if...sprinkling.

A simple thing, but a cause of great excitement and joy during the 2010 Ashes cricket tour of Australia.

Little things, as they say, please little minds.

And let's all give thanks for that.

Thing To Do Today: sprinkle. This word is probably something to do with the Middle Low German sprinklelt, which means spotted.

*Actually it doesn't really rain all that much in a lot of England, but it's traditional to moan about it as if it does.


  1. Coming now from a part of the country where it rains very little, I appreciate this paean of praise to sprinkling...but sprinkles on bread and butter don't sound too healthy or even tempting to me. I will eschew!

  2. Yes, a Dutch friend once gave me 7kg of sprinkles as a present.
    He was a generous man, was Jan, whom I loved dearly. I think of him every time I pass the cake-decorating section of a supermarket - but I don't stop to buy any more sprinkles.