This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 22 December 2017

Word To Use Today: festoon.

File:Festoon (PSF).png

How is the house looking? Are there festoons of ivy threaded cunningly through the balusters and along the hand rail of your staircase, or have you decided to try to keep your elderly relatives alive and with no bones broken until the New Year?

In that case, have you got earwigs falling into the wine glasses from the festoons of greenery stuck to the ceiling?

Are you looking forward to the festoons of paper chains getting flamingly involved when Dad gets over-excited setting fire to the brandy on the pudding?

Do you have your migraine yet from the vicious sparkling of the metallic-doily festoons all along the hall?

It's a nice silly word, festoon; but do you know why we put them up at Christmas time?

No one does, really, but it might be to remind us, in the winter darkness, of the bright Spring to come; it might be to remind us of the promise of the life everlasting; or it might be just because it's been a traditional if mysterious part of the winter celebration for thousands of years.

For a trifler in The Word Den, though, there is another reason...

Word To Use Today: festoon. We festoon the house with festoons during the festival of Christmas because they are festive. The word comes from the French feston, from the Italian festone, from the Latin festa, feast.

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