This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 16 August 2013

Word To Use Today: plumbum.

Here's a word to spread joy throughout the English-speaking world.

 Photo by Fir 00002

Surely everyone will seize upon this one and use it today and every day.
It's not as if it's a difficult word to get into the conversation, either, because plumbum isn't anything rare or complicated, it's just an old word for lead. That's lead, as in the metal. The word plumber is connected.
Plumbum plumbum...
These bags feel as if they're full of plumbum!

You haven't got a limp, you're just swinging the plumbum.

A plumbum sailor:

Lead soldier

Plumbum can mean a ball of lead or a lead pipe, too. That'd liven up Cluedo: in the conservatory with the plumbum.
Once or twice it's even been used to mean pencil.
Hm, yes. You could have a lot of fun with that.
Lastly, (and thanks to Ed at Lexicolatry for this suggestion) plumbum is excellent as an expression of rage or disgust.
Oh plumbum!
Word To Use Today: plumbum. Plumbum is the Latin for lead. (Although plumbum album is tin, because Pliny thought it was lead with silver in it.) The word is related to the Greek mólubdos, and before that may have been borrowed from Etruscan, Iberian or some other pre-Indo-European Mediterranean language.


  1. I like Ed's suggestion best! And I'm sure Plumbum could be the name of a character in some book or other....Maximilian Plumbum...Horatio Plumbum. Hortense Plumbum and the little Plumbumlets...I could go on..

    1. I hope you will, Adele. I love to read the whole story.

    2. Plumbumlets? To me, that ... oh never mind. An excellent post on a hilarious word, Sally.

    3. I'm suddenly reminded of the old and very weird TV show Sapphire and Steel, where all the characters were called after elements. Well, they were except for Sapphire and Steel.

      It involved a lot of long and significant pauses, as I seem to recall.

      A character called PLumbum would have livened up the proceedings immeasurably.