This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Monday, 18 September 2017

Spot the Frippet: tiller.

A tiller is a lever used to steer a boat:

File:Miss March manning the tiller of the narrowboat 'HEATHER BELL' nas it carried flour from Worcester to Tipton during 1942. D7652.jpg
This photograph shows Miss March manning the tiller of the narrowboat HEATHER BELL as it carried flour from Worcester to Tipton in 1942.

but of course we mustn't forget the dancing Tiller Girls:

Tiller Girls, London Plaza 1928.

though they're no longer in existence (a revival is planned).

Luckily for those of us who live far from both very old-fashioned nightclubs and navigable water, a tiller is also both a grass shoot which comes up from the base of a stem, and another name for a young tree or sapling.

File:Rowan sapling in Gullmarsskogen.jpg
photo: W.carter

though the main question for you to answer is: which of these three meanings gives you most joy?

Spot the Frippet: tiller. The boat-steering word comes from the Anglo-French teiler, the beam of a loom, from the Latin tēlārium, from tēla, a web. The tree/grass word comes from the Old English teīgar, twig. The Tiller Girls were founded by a Mr John Tiller.



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