This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Thing To Do Today: tinker.

Do you know exactly what you're doing?

No?

Well, the chances are that you'll be having a bit of a tinker, then.

Tinkering is rather a lovely thing. Faced with some intractable problem, like a steam iron with no obvious hole to put the water in (and I've had one of those for about ten years), then instead of becoming enraged and throwing the thing against the nearest wall while emitting howls of rage and despair, we keep calm and...

...tinker.

The best thing is that we can't fail at tinkering because no one really expects a tinker to achieve anything. Tinkering is much more about exploration and experiment than success.

If the thing you're tinkering with is a saucepan, then you'll be tinkering in two senses at once, because in times past a tinker was a mender of pots and pans.



Nowadays in Britain a tinker is often a mischievous child; though a tinkerman is a soccer manager who keeps changing the tactics and players in his team.

A tinker is also a sort of mackeral, but this is unlikely to have any relevance to readers of The Word Den because mackeral are notoriously averse to reading blogs: in fact the blasted things couldn't give a tinker's cuss for any of them.

Thing To Do Today: tinker. Tinkering is the father of invention, but please don't try doing it to a vehicle in which you are currently riding.

Nor with anything that's plugged in, switched on, or conected to a gas main.

The word tinker probably comes from tink, which is an imitation of the sound of someone mending a pot.

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