This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Thing To Do Today: sledge.

People come to play in The Word Den from all over the world, and I try to bear in mind that, although I personally am frozen and the view from my window is...well, best seen from indoors, quite frankly...our friends in the Antipodes and South America are sweltering in the middle of summer.

So, let's look at the word sledge from their point of view. In New Zealand a sledge is a farm vehicle mounted on runners for use on rough or muddy ground.

In Australia...um, hang on, I'd better be careful, here...what I want to say is that, in places where cricket is played (and of course Australia comes to mind because of the excellence and skill of its countrymen) to sledge is to tease a cricketer (especially a batsman) in order to spoil his concentration. A sledge is also any insult aimed at a player by another.

This sort of sledge is probably connected with sledgehammer, which is a big hammer with a long handle you grip with both hands.

For those of us in the North, and therefore in the grip of winter, a sledge is a slidy thing, possibly drawn by dogs or horses, for getting about on ice or snow.

If you don't have a proper sledge, you can sledge on a tea tray.

Or, wherever you are, you can insult someone just as they're about to do something that calls for a lot of concentration.

Take care, though: obviously it would be mad to try it if the activity involves a sledgehammer.

Thing To Do Today: sledge. This word comes from the Middle Dutch sleedse, from the Old Norse slethi, which is to do with sliding.
The sledgehammer sledge comes from the Old English slecg, a large hammer. This word is related to the Old Norse sleggja.

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