This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 13 February 2015

Word To Use Today: thalweg.

What's a thalweg?

Yes, it does sound as if it's something from a Norse saga involving a gold cup, a raven, a quest, and a lot of skulduggery, but it's not that.

It's something that will make you look at the world in a completely different way.

A thalweg (pronounced it TAHLvayg) is the quickest way down a slope - the line of steepest descent.

Naturally, taking the thalweg is not always to be recommended, because it's quite likely to be accompanied by a long arrrggghhhh followed by a fatal splat, but from now on whenever I see a slope I shall stop and trace out the thalweg.

Looking down into the gorge with a road with cars on it running from the top to the bottom of the picture. To the right are exposed rocky cliffs with trees on some ledges. To the left are less steep slopes covered in vegetation.
Cheddar Gorge

And then I'll walk round the safe way.

Word To Be Aware Of Today: thalweg. This word is German. Thal means valley, and Weg means way or path.

A thalweg is also the outline of a river bed from source to mouth.

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