This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Saturday Rave: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

There's nothing like a good baddy, and in this story Ali Baba is up against forty of them.

In fact, if you include Ali Baba's greedy brother Cassim, not to mention Cassim's nosy wife, we have forty two.

As if this weren't enough, we also have the tailor Baba Mustafa, who gets to sew a corpse back together, and, of course, the servant Morgiana (who is not only very clever and very brave but can dance, too) who ends up satisfyingly happy, married, and rich.

All that, and magic words, too.

Open sesame!

Word To Use Today: sesame. Nowadays we are so sophisticated that even hamburger joints are no strangers to sesame seeds, but when I was young none of us had a clue that sesame was anything other than a magic word like abracadabra.
My friend Lynda, though, did always have a suspicion that the thieves had Italian accents and were just saying open says-a me.

I do wish that were true, but sesame is, sadly, a plant grown, especially in India, for its seeds.

The word comes from the Greek sēsamē, which is related to the Arabic simsim.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, I call it sum sum but I say it like that an not SIM SIM. Not to rhyme with THUMB but like dim sum. I thought that was the Arabic...we shall have to wait for native Arabic speakers to comment!!
    I must confess that I was never overfond of this story. Do not ask me why, for I have no idea. Some tales you take to and others you don't!