This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 20 February 2012

Spot the frippet: brownie.

Oh yes, I was a Brownie, once. That was in the old, tough days, when the initiation was long and your tie had to be folded from a triangle and fastened behind your head with a reef knot.

We had just a simple brown uniform with small pockets: nothing to protect our necks from the baking sun:* .

Oh, but that was long ago. I doubt I have the strength to serve in a paramilitary organisation, now. Still, I have the memories, and the discipline. And I have the respect and trust of the others in my pack.

And my Hostess badge, of course.


Anyway, when I was a Brownie, brownies had both disappeared from England, and they had not yet arrived.

The brownies that had disappeared from England were the small gnome-like creatures who used, it was said, to get up early and do all the housework for the household.

The brownies that had yet to arrive were the square chunks of cake.*

Nowadays the cake brownies are probably the easiest to spot, and, while you're spotting one, may I mention the recent research which "proves" that eating chocolate cake for breakfast is the best way of keeping off that extra weight?

It's a nice way to try, anyway.

Spot the frippet: brownie. The word meaning gnome is from the 1500s and just means little brown man. Brownie points (which are pretend good-conduct stars) arrived in the 1900s, and came from the mistaken idea that Brownies get points for good deeds.

* Mind you, this was in England.

**The Australian currant-bread brownie still hasn't arrived in England, unfortunately.

1 comment:

  1. I await the Aussie currant bread brownie with interest and meanwhile, the cakey kind are the only brownies I have any truck with at all. And there's a phrase for you to consider right there!
    As for choccy brownies at breakfast as a weight loss strategy, it won't work! I promise you....