This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 13 September 2013

Word To Use Today: ladder.

Yes, it's Friday the thirteenth today and so it seems a good day to think about luck and, especially, ladders.

In Britain, the commonest sort of ladder is probably one of these:

(Yes, they're called runs in other parts of the world, but you can see why they're called ladders over here.)

Then there's the social ladder, which is the idea that life consists - or should consist - of trying to reach a higher social position. Well, if it makes you happy...

...well, actually, it won't.

Look, just take my word for it.


You can take part in a ladder tournament, most often a badmington or squash one, in which a contestant can challenge any person above him on the list, and if the lower person wins the contestants swap places.

That's lucky, I suppose, for some.



are ladder-back chair - and, I can tell you, trying to climb one of those is a guaranteed disaster.

Lastly we have the original ladder after which all the others are named. They're inherently tricky things, whether you're climbing up or down or walking underneath them.

OK, they can be good luck on occasion:

but, let's face it, only if you're in a snake pit.

Thing To Avoid If Possible Today: a ladder. This word comes from the Old English hl«£dder.


  1. Snakes & ladders ... urgh! That's such an interminably boring game. I read once that it's of Indian origin and illustrates the cycle of reincarnation in Hindu belief; I've no idea if that's true or not.

    As for ladders in tights, these are considerably less boring and can be rather lovely on the right pair of legs.

    1. Yes, you're right, it is a bit boring. It's useful for spreading round the chances of victory when playing with small people, though.