This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 2 January 2015

8th Day of Christmas: maids a-milking. Word To Use Today.

The first time the word maid really made an impression on me was when watching The Adventures of Robin Hood.

File:Fairbanks Robin Hood giving Marian a dagger.jpg
Douglas Fairbanks and Enid Bennett in the 1922 film Robin Hood. It wasn't actually the Fairbanks version I used to watch, though - I'm not that old - it was Richard Greene's.

Maid Marian was Robin Hood's girlfriend.

It occurs to me now that one of the ways Robin Hood's Merry Men kept themselves so very merry was by making up silly names for themselves. Will Scarlet was so called, for instance, because of the colour of his stockings; fat Friar Tuck was obviously fond of tucking in to a good meal; and (plainly not caring that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit) they gave that huge hulk of a Merry Man John the nickname Little.


I just hope that there was no sarcastic element involved in Maid Marian's name, that's all.

Word To Use Today: maid. This word is a shortened form of maiden. It comes from the Old English mægden, and is related, pleasingly, to the Old Norse mogr, which means young man.

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