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 July 2012

Sunday Rest: Word Not To Use today: puck.

Here we are, a sporty word which no one need use. There's no ice hockey at the Summer Olympics.

(The word puck is also part of the sport of hurling, but hurling hasn't appeared at the Olympics since 1904. I understand that in this game to puck means to hit the ball.)

To puck has an unsporting use, too: it's an Irish word for to punch.

Of course Puck is also a mischievous sprite-like creature:

He appears most famously in the play A Midsummer Night's Dream.

He's not seen too often nowadays. So unless your 

'wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me [Puck];
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she...'

then there's no need to refer to this Puck, either. And if you do, then you can always call him by his other name of Robin Goodfellow.

Word Not To Use Today: puck. The word meaning ice-hockey disc appeared, no one knows from where, in the 1800s.
The sprite was called Pūca in Old English, but no one seems to know where that name comes from either.

Which just goes to show what a very irritating word it is.

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