This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Thing Not To Do Today: be stony.

'Coming out tonight, Al?'

'Nah, I'm stony.'

So what did Al mean? That he had no interest in, or warmth for, his friend?

No, what he meant was that he was stony-broke: that is, without money to spend.

(In America I understand the expression is stone-broke.)

Nowadays, with money to be borrowed more or less everywhere, stony is becoming uncommon as a concept - though when I say more or less everywhere, going up to a stranger in the streets and asking for a couple of quid is likely to get you a pretty stony reception.

But don't be stony. A heart of stone may keep you safe from hurt, but only in the same way that living in a box makes you safe from measles.

Yes, there are people out there ready to bruise you heart, but then there are these:

File:Hamster in hand.jpg
That's Egbert the hamster. Photo by Keith Pomakis


and these:

File:Baby Boy Oliver.jpg
That's Oliver. Photo by Voiceboks

and these:

File:Cocker Spaniel Puppy.jpg
Photo by  Deskana

Is your heart melted, yet?

Okay, then here I call up the irresistible force:

File:Golden tabby and white kitten n03.jpg
Photo Marie-Lan Nguyen

That's better, isn't it.

Thing Not To Do Today: be stony. This word has been around almost unchanged for thousands of years. It's related to the Greek stion, which means pebble.




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