This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Friday, 21 October 2016

Word To Use Today: clint, clinting, Clintonite.

I wrote about the word trump some time ago, so it seems only fair to feature the word Clinton, too.

The only trouble is that the source of the name Clinton seems to be either the river Glyme in Oxfordshire, England:


River Glyme, photo by Motacilla 

or the Middle Low German word glinde, which means an enclosure or fence. Neither has, as far as I can see, left any trace on conversational English (the ton bit comes from tun, the Old English word for settlement).

However, I can give you Clintonite:

Clintonite-Spinel-235093.jpg

which is a brittle mica with the chemical formula Ca(Mg,Al)3(Al3Si)O10(OH)2.  If Clintonite is any use for anything then I'm afraid I don't know what it is, but it's found in Orange County and is definitely not radioactive.

If Clintonite takes us nowhere very much, then there's always the word clint, which can be either a hard sticking-upwards rock, or a rough stone used in the sport of curling. Sometimes clint has been used as a verb in the place of the commoner words clinch, clink or clench, too.

Clinting is the making of a subdued sound. Thackeray describes horses' hooves in his poem Peg of Limavaddy as making a dismal clinting

I'm afraid I have to admit that none of this is tremendously inspiring... 

...but then...

Word To Use Today: one with clint in it. Clintonite was named in 1828 (or 1843, depending on whom you believe) after the American statesman De Witt Clinton (1769 - 1828). Clint comes from the Danish and Swedish klint, rock.




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