This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Sunday Rest: stucco. Word Not To Use Today.

This beautiful Brighton house is covered in stucco:

Stucco. It's completely the wrong sort of word for something so poised and elegant, isn't it: stucco should be a type of chewing gum, or a cheap glue-stick, or one of the less successful of the Marx Brothers.

This is stucco, too:

House of Borujerdi-ha. Kashan, Iran, made about about 1850.

but how can something as complex and extraordinary as that be called stucco? Stucco sounds more as like the effect you'd get if you threw stones into wet cement. 

And, actually... you know the stuff called pebble-dash? It sounds quite exciting, but it's actually the most depressing finish for a building ever invented:

well, as stucco is basically any sort of plaster or cement-type stuff stuck on the outside of a building, pebble-dash (which is, yes, cement with pebbles stuck all over it) counts as a sort of stucco, too.

But even then stucco falls short. I mean, it doesn't capture anything like the full dreariness of pebble-dash.

But then I can't think of a word that would.

Sunday Rest: stucco. Although this word came to us from Italian, before that it was German. The Old High German stukki means fragment or crust, and there's an Old English word stycce which means bit or piece.

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