This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 10 December 2018

Spot the Frippet: zareba.

Technically, a zareba is a stockade or enclosure of thorn bushes around a village in northern East Africa. It can also be used to describe the area so enclosed.

Obviously for most of us the chance of having one of those to hand is fairly remote, but whenever I see the word zareba I don't think of East African hedges, I think instead of the magnificent PG Wodehouse story The Clicking of Cuthbert, which features (wrong word, as you shall see) the great Russian literary novelist Vladimir Brusiloff.

His first glance at the novelist surprised Cuthbert. Doubtless with the best of motives, Vladimir Brusiloff had permitted his face to become almost entirely concealed behind a dense zareba of hair

I shall be looking out for beards, today...

...and wondering what motives each man has for growing the ridiculous thing.

Spot the Frippet: zareba. This word comes from the Arabic zaribah, cattlepen, from zarb sheepfold.

Edward Lear limerick

illustration and verse by Edward Lear

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