This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 2 January 2017

Spot the frippet: gill.

Here's an easy spot as we emerge from the party season into a brand new year.

What sort of a gill will you see first? One on a fish or a young frog?

Photo by Andre Karwath, aka Aka (This is actually a young Alpine Newt, which helpfully wears its gills (the feathery things) on the outside.)

 Or one on a mushroom?

By Luridiformis at en.wikipedia, CC BY 3.0,

Will it be the official sort of gill which is a quarter of a pint? Or the more generous Northern English gill, which is a half?

Will it be a narrow stream, or a wooded ravine, or a pot hole?

Will it be ground ivy? Or a female ferret? 

photo by גיא חיימוביץ The gill is on the right.

A girl?

Or, best of all, will it be a sweetheart?

It occurs to me that the one we spot will tell us a lot about our lives...

...hey, I think we may have just invented the gill test.*

Spot the Frippet: gill. The fish and mushroom word came from Scandinavia in the 1300s. The liquid measure came from the Old French gille, which meant vat, from the Latin gillō, cooking vessel. The geographical feature came in the 1000s from the old Norse gil, steep-sided valley. The sweetheart is a short form of the name Gillian.

*I expect my first gill to be on a mushroom. This is just slightly depressing.

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