This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 12 December 2016

Spot the Frippet: perpend.

Here's a word that's given me cause to perpend (that is, weigh something carefully in my mind).

What it's made me perpend is, well, walls. Generally I've tended to regard walls merely as things not to walk into, or things to stop people catching trauma-inducing glimpses of me in my bath, or useful structures for stopping the roof from falling on my head.

But coming across the word perpend has made me look at the wall itself. 

A perpend stone is a long stone (or you can get similar bricks) that goes right from one side of the wall to the other, like some of these:

photo by Humphrey Bolton

(A perpend stone also called a tie-stone because it stops the wall falling apart.)

But even if the walls near you aren't quite as picturesque as the one in the picture then you can still spot a perpend, because a perpend is also a vertical line of mortar between two bricks.

File:Brick wall close-up view.jpg
photo by Pawel Wozniak

I think we can all smile a little wider for knowing that.

Spot the Frippet: perpend. This word comes from the Old French parpain, but the thinking word comes from the Latin pendere, to weigh.


  1. That is brilliant! Haven't been so excited at discovering a word since I came across ORPIMENT!

    1. Thank you so much! The Word Den has, shamefully, neglected the splendid word orpiment, but it has featured the related realgar:
      Orpiment must make a visit soon!