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

Monday, 20 June 2016

Spot the Frippet: sock.

File:Sock puppets.jpg
Photo of socks in Oregon by User:Bastique

One of the chief of the great mysteries that have perplexed mankind over the years is, of course, Does Santa Claus sleep with his whiskers under or over the Sheet?

Unfortunately, life being the vale of tears that it is, now another similarly serious conundrum has arrived to disturb us: should one wear one's socks as one's inside or outside foot-covering?  

File:BLW Pair of socks.jpg
Egyptian socks, 300 - 500 AD

I would imagine nowadays the answer is usually the inside, but that was originally not the case because socks started off as Greek actors' shoes. And if you think that was funny then so did they, because they only wore them in comedies.

Things may have changed since then, but socks have remained essentially comic: no one, as far as I know, has ever made an heroic or an alluring sock. In Britain our two bits of sock-related slang, put a sock in it (shut up!) and pull your socks up! (start making the necessary effort!) have certainly no hint of tragedy about them, though the American socked in, (that is, of an airport, closed by bad weather), does have at least an irritable sound to it.

Still, this is an easy spot. Today mine are black with pink toes and heels and, like all socks, are small miracles of the knitters' craft.

File:Hand Knitted Socks.JPG
Hand-knitted socks. Photo: ChesPal (Debra Heaphy)

Do you know, something? I think today might be judge-a-man-by-his-socks day.

One of you might even be able to get a dissertation out of it.

Spot the Frippet: sock. This word comes from the Old English socc, a light shoe, and before that from the Greek sukkhos.

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