This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 23 December 2011

Word To Use Loudly Today: Nowell.

My copy of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary says this is a word to be shouted or sung as an expression of joy at Christmas time.

(It's also another word for a newel post, or for the inner part of a mould for casting large hollow objects, but, frankly, who cares?)

The important thing - and I like to think The Word Den will improve many Christmasses around the world with this simple fact - is that Christmas, that traditional time for shouting, can now become greatly more joyful.

So when Uncle Barry refuses to say smile, or even to say hello to you, shout nowell! 
Yes, right in his miserable earhole.

When people are too stuffed with Santa treats to want to eat their dinners, shout nowell! 
It will relieve the blood-pressure, and perhaps even startle them into friendly behaviour.

When the cook looks disappointed at your not eating her brussels sprouts, which she has been boiling briskly since November, shout nowell! And then, while everyone is distracted, slip the offending vegetables onto someone else's plate. Preferably mine. I love'em!

Oh yes, let's make the best of this word while we can, shall we?

So. Why are there only twenty five letters in the alphabet at Christmas time?

Because there's..........!

Word To Use Loudly Today: nowell. Or, indeed, nowel. The making-a-mould meaning is really the same word as newel. The Christmas meaning comes from the Old French nouel, from the Latin word natalis, which is to do with being born.

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