This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sunday Rest: Word Not To Use Today: fecula.

Yes, yes, I realise that you probably weren't considering using the word fecula anyway. Of course not. The Word Den's inhabitants are creatures of fine intelligence and taste.

And fecula is plainly a vicious word. It sounds like root beer*: something that's so disgusting you just can't help but spit it out at once.

Fecula does have a faint and bonkers charm, though, because it means two crazily different things: it can be the gluey starch you get from washing crushed vegetables such as potatoes.

Or it can be insect poo.

I suppose that's quite endearing, really.

Words Not to Use Today: fecula. This is the Late Latin word for burnt tartar, which is the crust you sometimes get on wine. It comes from the Latin faex, which means sediment.

*The only root beer I've ever drunk tasted somewhere between  cheap disinfectant and old ladies' wee, but I'm prepared to accept there may be pleasanter kinds out there somewhere.

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