This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 26 January 2015

Spot the Frippet: roulette.

Photo by Uutela

So: am I encouraging gambling, here?

No, not really, but if you must gamble, use money you won't miss and throw it away in a good cause, whether a charity or a starving bookie.*

But where else can you spot roulette, apart from a casino?

Well, all over the place, actually, though in Britain not as all-over-the-place as a few years ago. 

A roulette is a wheel used to make perforations, and it's also the name of the small hole so made. So all postage stamps had roulettes until the fairly recent introduction to Britain of self-adhesive stamps.

Still, my teabags come in pairs so spotting a roulette is easy for me. In fact I've already seen some teabag roulettes this morning, or I wouldn't have the energy to write this.

Failing teabags, you can make your own roulette as long as you have two coins to rub together, because a roulette is the path taken by a point on a curve when it rolls against another curve. The illustration below is from wikipedia.

So all you have to do is get two coins, put them flat on a table, make a note of a point on the edge of one of them, and roll this coin round the other. The path taken by your noted point is a roulette.

Best of all, you get to keep all your money.

Spot the Frippet: roulette. This word comes from the French rouelle. a little wheel, from roue, wheel, from the Latin rota.

*Now spotting one of those would be a challenge.

No comments:

Post a Comment