This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Thing Not To Do Today: squint.

I have been exiled from my desk in the loft because a man is coming to do something to the radiators.

Instead of the tops of the trees I can see...well, not much, actually, because the sun is shining in my eyes. Hang on, I'll draw the curtain.

Ah, that's better.

I don't want to have to squint.

Squint is a well-designed, if not a lovely, word. I mean, you can hear the effort and strain involved in it. I spent a lot of time squinting as a short-sighted child, and was always being told it was bad for the posture and the avoidance of wrinkles.

On the other hand, it was good for avoiding falling over things and being hit by trucks.

To squint can also be to take a sideways look, perhaps because the eyes aren't aligned conventionally, or perhaps when pretending to look the other way.

A squint in a church follows the sideways meaning by being a narrow opening so that people at the sides of the church can see the main altar, and a squint antenna is one where, by design or because of some technical anomaly, the signal does not reach it along a straight path.

Of course, if someone asks you to have a squint at something it would be rude to refuse, but as squint in this sense means a quick look, you don't actually have to squint.

Unless the sun has moved round and is in your eyes again.

File:Unamused squint sticker-red6d17c7131643a39339a7d1f649e482 v9wth 8byvr 324.jpg


Thing Not To Do Today: squint. This word is short for asquint, which perhaps comes from the Dutch schuite, slant.


  1. Very interesting about the church features...a squint is unattractive when people do it, I agree but sometimes you have to!

    1. Yes, especially if the subtitles don't have plain backgrounds built in.

      I suppose it wouldn't be possible to make this a criminal offence, would it?