This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Sunday Rest: diaper. Word Not To Use Carelessly Today.

Now, of course I know what a diaper is (though we call them nappies in Britain) but how does one diap?

Well, one can't, of course: the word diaper, meaning a wrapper for a baby's bottom:

 File:Stack of Cloth Diapers with Garland.JPG
(Photo: ParentingPatch Yes, diapers are for Christmas as well as the rest of the year.)

comes from its other meaning, which is fabric with a small woven repeating pattern on it, usually diamonds.

Diaper can mean that sort of pattern used as a decoration, too.

Coat of Arms of Cröchern, Part of Burgstall, showing a diaper pattern. By Günther Gembalski (Wappen vom LHA Magdeburg erhalten) (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.

So you can even have diapers on your coat of arms. 

Anyway, what's wrong with the word diaper

Well, you really wouldn't want to get those meanings mixed up, would you?

Word Not To Use Carelessly Today: diaper. This word, delightfully, comes from the Old French diaspre, from the Mediaeval Latin diasprus, made of diaper, from the Mediaeval Greek diaspros, pure white, from aspros, which means shining.

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