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 March 2014

Thing To Do Today: peal.

What peals?

Bells, of course, and we must hope in celebration rather than alarm; thunder peals, too; but best of all it's people, pealing with laughter.

But hang on, are those bells pealing?

Technically, they're probably not. A bell ringer will object to calling the noise bells make a peal unless it fulfils some very difficult rules. A proper peal in England consists of every bell being rung once in a particular order, and then carrying on until the bells have been rung once in every possible order. If that doesn't take at least three hours, then you have to do the every-possible-order thing again and again until it does. And that's a peal.

(Why do cows have bells?
Because their horns don't work.)

If you're going to peal on the whole I'd recommend laughing: it's much quicker, and doesn't involve nearly so many blisters.

('Doctor, Doctor, I think I'm a bell!'
'Take two aspirin and if that doesn't work give me a ring.')

There is one other sort of peal, which is a young sea trout. But I've no idea how you could be one of those.

(I took up bell ringing because it sounded appealing.)

No, no. That wasn't a peal, that was a GROAN! You're supposed to be...oh all right. Please yourselves.

Thing To Do Today: peal, probably with laughter. This word used to be pele, and was a variant of apele, to entreat, from the Latin pellere to push or drive.


  1. I opted for the peals of laughter.
    With thanks to your amusing asides! :)

    1. I'm glad I haven't inflicted universal agony, Jingles.

  2. Nothing like a good pun to cheer a person up! Peals of laughter from here!

    1. I suppose it's a cry-until-you-laugh thing, isn't it?