This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 21 July 2014

Spot the frippet: croft.

This is usually a Scots word, but the Scots will surely be happy to educate us in the use of their English tongue.

So, croft.

It's a sort of small farm. It will have a house attached to it, and the family of the house will be the ones who work the land.

Strictly speaking, the only true crofts are found in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland (65% of the households on Shetland live on crofts). The system requires a group of crofters, each farming 2 - 5 hectares of crops, and the hills around being held in common for grazing for their animals.

The Shetland Crofthouse Museum

Yes, yes, you will say, but this is a spot-the-frippet, and strangely enough I don't have time to get to Shetland in my lunch-break, so how on earth do you expect me to spot a croft?

Well, because luckily there's another sort of croft - a Lancashire croft, in fact.

This was originally an area used for bleaching cloth in the sun, but now a Lancashire-type croft is a patch of wasteland.

And that's a much easier thing to spot.

Having spotted one, though, you might find that the croft isn't really wasted at all.

You could make a list of uses your croft has.

1. Feeding place for butterflies.
2. Playground.
3. Dumping ground for mattresses.

Spot the Frippet: croft. This word has been around for over a thousand years. The Old English word was in fact croft. It's related to the Middle Dutch krocht, hill or field, and to the Old English creopan, to creep.

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