This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 20 April 2015

Spot the Frippet: sorrel.

In the forest yesterday I came across great carpets of wood sorrel:

File:Common wood sorrel (aka).jpg
Photo by André Karwath aka Aka.

They were edged with stars of celandine and embroidered with violets, like an Elizabethan counterpane.

Later, when I had stopped gasping, I found myself wondering what this delicate flower has to do with the orange-brown of a sorrel horse:

Well, the answer my Collins dictionary gives is nothing, but wikipedia suggests that sorrel is the colour of the lower bits of the plant sorrel (which is quite different from wood sorrel):

Rumex acetosa cultivar 01.jpg

Sorrel is a vegetable with a sharp flavour said to be reminiscent of kiwis - the fruit, presumably, rather than the bird - and is used in soup a lot. The flower looks like this:

which is itself rather sorrel-coloured, isn't it.

In North America there is a sorrel tree, which has sour-tasting leaves and small white flowers.

The easiest sorrel thing to spot is surely something of sorrel orange-brown.

So I think I'll have a look and see if I can find any rust on my baking trays.

Spot the Frippet: sorrel. The colour word comes from the French sorel, from sor, reddish-brown, related to the Dutch soor desiccated. The plant word comes from the Old French surele, from sur, sour.

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