This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Thing To Do Today: box.

It's Boxing Day today in Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. 

Boxing Day, as the name suggests, is an opportunity both to get rid of some of that extra weight put on during Christmas Day, and also to sort out any arguments that may have arisen due to being cooped up for far too long with relatives.

There's an unofficial system of seeding and handicaps for the actual fighting: a great-aunt, for instance, can have a stand-up match with a grandmother as long as they both wear knitted mittens, but a dispute between a grandfather with only one leg and a teenager can only take place if the teenager remains sitting throughout and puts a balaclava on backwards...

...oh all right, not really. It'd be great, though, wouldn't it? 

No, round here we do what families all over the world do, which is bicker a bit, and then either forget all about it or else fester until the next year. 

Actual physical assault is really rather rare, and, if it happens, usually only involves a turkey drumstick.

The reason today is really called Boxing Day is because it's the day that, by tradition, tradesmen call hoping for a present of money, which is called a Christmas Box. This is probably because servants would have to work on Christmas Day, but on the day after would be given a box of presents, money and perhaps left-overs to take home to their families.

Taking some exercise today is still a good idea, and if you have a punch bag then I'm sure that will prove some much-needed relief.

Otherwise, a brisk walk, perhaps.

Thing To Do Today: box. The container word comes from the Latin boxus from the Greek puxos. The fighting word might come from the Dutch word boken, to shunt, or push into position.

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