This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 6 August 2012

Spot the frippet: pommel.

Here's a lovely brave, galloping word: pommel.

To spot one you may have to find a horse or a camel.

Well, its saddle, at least.

The pommel is the raised section on the front of the saddle. This picture is of a mediaeval-type saddle. The pommel is jolly  important for stopping you falling off your mount when you're fighting in a battle.

If you're hunting, though, and having to jump hedges, a big pommel like that is jolly uncomfortable, so a hunting saddle has a much smaller pommel, like this:

The Scythians seem to have invented the pommel in about 500BC.

If you happen to spot a knight in shining armour (you never know) then you might score a double frippet, because as well as his saddle the end of his sword is likely to have a pommel, too, like this:

Well, actually nothing like that because that is a rapier which is no good at all against shining armour, but you get the idea. The pommel is the knob at the end of the hilt. Pommels started off as a means of stopping people dropping their swords, and later became a counterweight to the blade.

Lastly, there's a pommel horse:

Schuhmann cavallo atene 1896.jpg

But where on earth you might see someone using one of those I've no idea at all.

Spot the frippet: pommel. This word comes from the Old French pomel, knob, from the Latin pōmum, which means apple.

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