This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 11 June 2012

Spot the frippet: feather.

The feathers I can see at the moment are on the back of a fat woodpigeon:

Wood pigeon  Columba palumbus

 which is busy pulling a frond of ash tree leaves to bits. Why it should be doing this I don't know, but I suspect there are caterpillars involved.

There's also a beautiful dark turquoise feather on my desk, part of a quill pen, which was given to me as a momento of a literary prize in, I think, Halifax in Yorkshire.

The cushion upon which I'm sitting is probably stuffed with feathers, too, but obviously I can't see those.

Is there anywhere in the world where you can't see a feather really easily? If there are no birds (which is a terrible thought) then any piece of wood designed to fit into a groove is a feather.

If you're out at sea, then the wake of a submarine's periscope is a feather, too.

Or you may be unfortunate enought to come across a featherbrain, (all visitors to The Word Den are themselves, obviously, extremely discerning and clever) or lucky enough to have something  decorated in feather stitch:

File:Chained feather stitch.gif

 If you're in Ireland and manage not to upset someone, you'll not have knocked a feather out of him - and of all the people you really don't want to upset, a featherweight boxer (professional weight 53.5 - 57 kg, amateur weight 54 - 57 kg) or wrestler (57 - 64kg) must rank high.

Sadly, you're unlikely to spot a feather star:

 unless you're a mermaid.

In which case, well, you'll be able to knock me down with a feather.

Spot the frippet: feather. This word comes from the Old English fether and is related to the Old High German fedara, which means wing, the Greek petesthai, to fly, and Sanskrit patati, he flies.

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