This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 23 January 2015

The Sign of Four: Word To Use Today

File:Conrad von Soest, 'Brillenapostel' (1403).jpg
Conrad von Soest, 1403

It's a small word, is four, but it pops up bravely all over the place,  and half the time it's shouting I am not a number I am a free man!

Well, possibly not man...

For instance, a four-by-four is a car, and four-by-two is a size of timber. 

Then there's four-colour, which describes a printing system which produces an infinite variety of colour; four-eyed fish, which have two eyes (though they are divided so they can see both above and below water); and of course a speccy-four-eyes, who also has two eyes, in this case assisted by spectacles.

And it doesn't stop there. A four at cricket is a single stroke that sends the ball to the boundary after hitting the ground. In America a four-flusher is someone who is trying to deceive. 

In four-four time in music, although the first four means, well, four, the second doesn't. 

A 404 is a stupid or useless person, a fourpenny one is a powerful punch, foursquare means solid, strong, and forthright, and the fourth estate are journalists. 

Fourplay, just for the avoidance of doubt, is the supply to a customer of television, internet, and mobile and landline telephone services by the same provider.

What else is four? 

Well, the Word Den. It's four today.

Happy Birthday To Us!

Word To Use Today: four. The Old English for four was fēower, but its history can be traced right back to the Sanskrit catur.

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