This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Thing To Do Today. Or perhaps not. Scramble.

Sometimes things can get a bit out of control. The alarm fails to wake us and we have to scramble for the bus, or someone drops an open purse on the pavement and this leads to a bit of a scramble to pick up the coins.

A scrambler is a plant which grows all over everything because it's too weak to hold itself up.

On the other hand, there is no finer way to start the day than with a plate of nicely scrambled eggs* and there's no more bracing activity than a scramble up your nearest steep hill.

If you're on a motor bike, then in Britain a scramble is a race across rough ground.

People do a lot of scrambling in the armed forces. It can mean either to hurry to get ready for action, or to make a voice-transmission impossible to intercept.

Military folk just adore scrambled egg, though they don't eat it: military scrambled egg is the gold embroidery on a high-ranking officer's cap.

Thing To Do Today: scramble. This word was invented in the 1500s. It's a mixture of scrabble and ramp. Ramp is from an Old French word ramper which means to crawl or rear up.

*That is, not made by a hotel. You might as well serve up bits of watery polystyrene as hotel scrambled eggs. In fact, I think I've stayed at some places that have.

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