This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 26 February 2016

Word To Use Today: mashie

Sometimes the word itself is enough: I mean that just the sound of it, or its pattern on the page or screen, is hugely satisfying. 

There are times when even meaning isn't necessary:

Frairo Jacker, frairo Jacker...

Eenie Meenie Miney Mo...


And so I come to the mashie. I know it's an instrument for hitting golf balls - or used to be - and I have the impression it's a useful thing for getting a player out of tight spots.

A quick trip to Wikipedia reveals a whole group of mashies: Mid mashie, Mashie Iron, Mashie, Spade Mashie, Mashie niblick.

Wikipedia goes on to tell me, oh so mysteriously, that a Pitching Mashie is a number eight iron, and a Mashie niblick is not a wedge.

I have no idea at all what any of it means, but it fills me with a mild exhilaration all the same. I am oddly pleased, too, to learn that although mashies are generally described as obsolete, there has been a revival in their use.

Why has there been a revival in the mashie's fortunes?

What reason can there be, except perhaps as an homage to PG Wodehouse - or for their name?

niblick - an iron with considerable loft

(Actually, I think this might be a niblick...)

Word To Use Today: mashie. This word might come from the Frenh massue, club, and before that from the Latin mateola, mallet.

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