This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 10 August 2015

Spot the frippet: filoselle.

It's amazing what a difference a few letters can make.

Yesterday's monstrous word, filose, for instance, can be transformed with the simple addition of a three more letters into the dancing and joyous filoselle.

Filoselle is a soft silk thread used especially for embroidery.

Now, some of you may not see the point in looking out for embroidery, but if you are one of those then answer me this: why should a work of art made by applying lines of thread to a background have less artistic merit than one made by applying lines of paint?

(Before you start, I agree that most embroidery is very poor art indeed. But then so is most painting.)

Anyway, why not see if you nudge a prejudice one way or the other.

A sample of traditional embroidery by the Alfaro-Nùñez family of Cochas, Peru.
It'd be good to reach the end of the day a little more educated, wouldn't it.

This is from Japan.

Spot the frippet: filoselle. You pronounce this FEELohSELL. The word comes from France, where it means silk or silkworm, from the Italian filosello,  perhaps from the Latin folliculus, little bag.


  1. Filoselle is a good name for a princess. And I disagree about embroidery! It's art almost as often as painting which isn't that often but things can be lovely without being ART. Art lite!

    1. Yes, she'd make a good princess, and a fairy story about one who embroiders or unpicks something could be fascinating. Shades of Penelope, of course.

      But on the equivalence of Art and Embroidery, I think we actually agree almost completely.