This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Friday, 22 January 2016

Word To Use Today: kist.

Here's a lovely word, carrying with it the delicate echo of kissed.

Kist is actually three quite different words from three different sources - although all of them mean more or less the same thing.

Kist and kist and kist all mean a large chest or coffer. 

File:BLW Coffer (1).jpg
(This one's at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. Photo by Jenny ODonnell.)

One sort of a kist is probably used for storing linen or a bride's trousseau; one might be used for storing more or less anything (well, not live giraffes, obviously)

File:COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Dragers met een kist verbandmiddelen die meegaan met de militaire expedities in Atjeh TMnr 60037212.jpg

 and the other sort of kist is made to contain a dead body.

The dead body kist is quite often spelled cist...

...well, actually, what I mean is that the dead body cist would be quite often spelled cist, if people spent much time writing about burying people in chests.

Which, fortunately, they don't.

File:Drizzlecombe kist 5.JPG
The Drzzlecombe kist, photo by Herby

Word To Use Today: kist. The Northern English and Scots word meaning a chest or coffer that can be used for more or less anything comes from the Old Norse kista; the word meaning a chest for linen or a trousseau comes from Afrikaans, from Dutch; the burying chest comes from Welsh, from the Latin cista, box

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