This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 18 March 2016

Word To Use Today: wagga.

You'll have heard of the fine city of Wagga Wagga in South Eastern Australia. It was named by the Wiradjuri people in their own language, and Wagga Wagga probably means crows.*

Now, the Wiradjuri language makes its plurals by repeating the singular word: so if wagga wagga means crows, then wagga means...

....yes, that's right, well done: blanket.

Well, wagga means blanket in English, anyway. In Wiradjuri wagga means crow, obviously, but in English a wagga is a blanket or bedcovering made out of sacks stitched together. They were often made by itinerant workers out of wheat bags or wool sacks sewed together with twine. Later, the sacks were used by women as quilting material for patchwork.

File:Wheat sacks in a Portland, Oregon warehouse (3718620966).jpg

If only someone would start making don't know what the English plural of wagga is: waggas? wagga wagga?...with a high enough price tag, I could see them becoming a real fashion statement, too.

Word To Use Today: wagga. This is such a nice word that I wish there were more opportunities to use it. A wagga is named after the city of Wagga Wagga, perhaps from finely woven Wagga Lily Flour sacks.

*The sad thing is that no one's quite sure: some people wonder if wagga might have meant reeling like a sick or dizzy person, or to dance or slide.

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