This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 6 April 2015

Spot the Frippet: pip.

When I suggest you spot a pip, I'm hoping it's going to be under reasonably pleasant circumstances. 

I hope no one's squeezing you until the pips squeak; I hope your chickens are well (do you remember the little man in the theatre at the end of Hitchcock's* The Thirty Nine Steps asking, repeatedly, What causes pip in poultry? And no one ever told him.); I hope that no one's handed you the lemon. 

Luckily there are happy pips to be found. Oranges and apples have pips, and one of the indented surfaces on a pineapple is called a pip.

Lily of the valley plants come from pips...well, not in my garden they don't, they always fail to come from pips...but that's the theory, anyway.

Playing cards, dice and dominoes have pips, and so do the epaulettes of officers and commissionaires:

Billy Butlin, MBE, chats to Sergeant J Caffrey, VC, (VC!!!) a Commissionaires at Filey Holiday Camp. Sgt Caffrey won his Victoria Cross at Ypres during the First World War.

A radio time-signal consists of pips (though, if you're listening via that modern miracle digital radio, the chances are that they won't actually be, well, on time).

See? Pips everywhere. 

And I haven't even started on the verbs, yet.

Spot the Frippet: pip. The fruit word is short for pippin, which comes from Old French; the sound is imitative; the bad mood is from the Latin pituita, which means phlegm.


*When I say Hitchcock, of course the terrific John Buchan wrote the novel upon which the film was based.

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