This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 25 February 2013

Spot the frippet: mail.

If you're in America this is an easy spot because I expect you have mail delivered to your mailbox every day.

Here in England, however, we don't have mail. In fact we seldom have a mailbox. Instead we have post, delivered by the postman through an inconveniently small and sometimes draughty hole in the door.

Mind you, no one in England - or anywhere in the world as far as I know - ever receives an epost. And junk mail is everywhere.

If you're in a place which doesn't have mail delivered then you could try looking out for a knight, though not one in shining armour but one wearing the sort of metal knitted-looking stuff that's called chain mail. Chain mail is particularly useful for protecting the underarms, and other places which have to be especially bendy. It's also much the best stuff if you have to borrow someone else's armour. Guest armour so seldom has its elbows in the right place.

If you happen to live with 21st century people then there's other sorts of mail. Like this:

Animal - Turtle - Spotted Turtle
That's a spotted turtle. A turtle's shell is sometimes called mail.

and so is the shell of this creature:

Photo of a lobster by Anna Langova.

If you're in Australia, a mail sometimes means a rumour or a report (often a racing tip) but of course they're almost impossible to spot.

Lastly, if you're in Scotland, then your mail is quite likely to be a payment of your rent or your taxes.

Oh dear. Let's hope no one anywhere spots one of those.

Spot the frippet: mail. The word meaning letter comes from the Old French male, which means bag, which in its turn probably comes from the Old High German malha which means wallet.

The armour word comes from the Old French maille, mesh, from the Latin macula, which means spot.

The payment word comes from the Old Norse māl, which means agreement.

1 comment:

  1. I like the way the turtles etc have appropriated the knight's armour!