This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Nuts and Bolts: the scullion with the scallion in the scullery.

I love the intricate links between words. They illuminate whole histories of ideas and culture and thought.

On the other hand when I consider that a scullion is a person employed in a scullery to prepare vegetables, and that those vegetables are likely to include scallions...


...and then when I consider that these words have no shared history at all...

...well, quite honestly I come close to despairing of ever making sense of anything.

Words To Use Today: scullery/scullion/scallion. A scullery:

File:Back scullery (4869152647).jpg
Canadian scullery. Photo by Andrea_44

is a room adjoining a kitchen where washing up is done and vegetables are prepared. A scullion:

File:Wenceslas Hollar - A pack of knaves - A Mere Scullion.jpg
illustration by Wenceslaus Hollar

is a servant employed to do rough kitchen work who might well be asked to prepare scallions, which are small onions. The word scullery comes from the Old French escuele, a bowl, from the Latin scutra, a tray; scullion comes from the Old French escouillon, cleaning cloth, from the Latin scōpa, broom; scallions are called after the port of Ascalon.

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