This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Thing To Do Today: clamber.

There are those who climb every mountain, but for the majority of us the most we ever do is have a bit of a clamber.

And what's wrong with that? For most of the time the top of a mountain is a much too windy, cold, and dangerous place for us to want to be.

Clambering may not be elegant or dignified, but it's good enough to get us somewhere that's free from the risk of flooding.

Clambering is the way a baby finds himself a nice comfy lap to sit on.

Clambering is the way to get to the very best rock pools.

Clambering is what you do when you can see the car, but reaching to it via the footpath is going to take you another twenty minutes.

It may not be athletic, it may not be pretty, but, oh, but the triumph of getting there in the end.

Thing To Do Today: clamber. This word has been around in English since the 1400s and is probably a version of the word climb, which is in turn related to the Old High German climban, which means to clamber.

This means, oh so neatly, that the meaning of clamber has been clambering around in a very slow circle.

There's an old meaning of clamber which means to cluster together, and this word may from the German klammer, which means to clutch or seize with claws.

That's quite a lot to do with our usual sort of clambering, too.

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