This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 30 July 2012

Spot the frippet: hurdle.

This is a silly word, but there's nothing wrong with a little silliness from time to time.

Hurdle hurdle hurdle hurdle...

People are hurdling over hurdles in races at the moment (though, really, wouldn't it be easier to go round them?)

hurdle fence

but there are other hurdles about for those determined to avoid sport.

Any light temporary fence is a hurdle. They're traditionally woven from twigs, and you see them all over the place in gardens at the moment.

A hurdle can be a sort of sled, too - one that's dragged along the ground. You carry things on it. It looks very much like the fence. In fact, if you stood it up and tied it to some posts it would be a fence.

hurdle rate is the amount of money you need to get back from a scheme to make it worthwhile taking a chance on it. You work it out by multipying the amount of money you're planning to risk by the chance of the whole thing going horribly horribly wrong.

Spot the frippet: hurdle. This word comes from the Old English hyrdel. It's related to the Gothic word haurds, which means door, and the Greek word kurtos, which means basket.

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