This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 18 March 2013

Spot the Frippet: temple.

This is an easy one.

If you don't happen to have a place of worship nearby (and to be a temple it really needs to be designed for worshipping one (or several) of the ancient gods; or else, especially if you're in the USA, to be a place of worship for Mormon or sometimes Jewish people) then there are always those places which used to be owned by the Knights Templar:


 These places include Temple Meads Station in Bristol, England, as well as buildings in London and Paris. The London site houses England's chief law societies:

File:Crown Office Row at Inner Temple.JPG
Inner Temple. Photo by Mclmcj.

If there's no temple building anywhere near you then a temple is the bit of a loom that keeps the cloth stretched sideways - and if you're nowhere near a loom, either, then a mirror will of course reveal two temples situated neatly at the sides of your forehead. My Collins dictionary says they're in front of the ears, but unless your ears are in very strange places then this won't, I think, be so.

Unless it's my ears that are stuck on in the wrong place...

If you get a hollow block of wood (hang on, how can you have a hollow block? That's what it says in my Oxford dictionary, though. Have all the lexicographers gone mad?) and strike it with a stick, then you'll be playing an instrument called a temple block.

Lastly, any place very much devoted to more or less anything can be called a temple. I think you'll find it remarkably easy to spot a temple to beauty, commerce, or greed.

Spot the frippet: temple. The religious meaning comes from the Latin temenos, which means a place cut off, from temnein, to cut; the part-of-a-loom meaning might come from the Latin templum, a small piece of timber; the part of the head is from the Latin tempus.

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