This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Thing To Do Kindly Today: trample.

Trample is a lovely word: who doesn't delight in trampling through fallen leaves or cardboard boxes? 

Trampling grapes is good, too, because then you're on the way to producing wine; and trampling some washing in a tub is as good a way as any of getting it clean.

Well, apart from putting it in an automatic washing machine, it is, anyway.

The word trample is a frequentative, which is a word with an ending tacked on to it to show that you have to do it again and again. In the case of trample, of course, what you're doing again and again is tramping.

Someone doing lots of trampling is a trampler, which is an old word for a solicitor (that's the British sort of solicitor, who is a highly qualified lawyer). This seems to be because he or she spends so much time going backwards and forwards between barristers (they're the sort of lawyers who wear wigs in court) and their clients.

It can't be denied that sometimes trampling is destructive or mean: we can trample on people's feelings, or trample on flowers. Luckily, though, none of us would dream of doing such things.

Thing To Do Kindly Today: trample. This word comes from tramp, which may be something to do with the Gothic ana-trimpan to press heavily upon. The German word trampen means to hitchhike.

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