This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 17 June 2016

Word To Use Today: mongrel.

Are you English?

I thought not.

The fact is that even the genuinely English don't often admit to being English, instead preferring to murmur something about an Irish grandmother or a Polish uncle or an unspecified African ancestor.

Yes, the English tend to be rather proud of being mongrel (which might be part of the difficulty with asking them to be European).

But when people talk of mongrels, even in England, they usually mean a dog with ancestors of different breeds. 

In Australia and New Zealand mongrel also means toughness and physical aggression: a sportsman might be said to have lots of mongrel.

So altogether mongrel doesn't seem to be such a very bad thing to be, does it. 

Wherever our great-aunts come from.

File:Polish Mongrel.jpg
Photo by Shalom

Word To Use Today: mongrel. This word comes from mong, mixture. The Old English word gemong means a mingling.

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