This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Thing Not To Be Today: weaselly.

Weasels are famous for their cunning and viciousness.

They're still quite cute, though:

File:Least Weasel (3766818218).jpg

Least weasel. Photo credit: Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. #https://www.flickr.com/people/38623372@N06

People whose appearance is described as weaselly, however, are not cute at all, but scrawny and furtive. This is most unfair on sleek, quick and brave weasels.

Weasel words are another piece of slander on the poor creatures, for weasel words are not cunning at all: if they were, then no one would know they were weasel words. Avoiding a question to disguise some horrible truth might be called weaselly, but no actual weasel would dream of acting in such a way.

It's straight for the jugular with a weasel.

Weasels never make promises, either, so they never even try to weasel out of anything.

This leaves us with a problem: is it better to be straightforwardly aggressive and selfish, like a weasel, or is it better to pretend weaselishly to be civilised and kind?

Well, I don't know. 

But I know what a weasel would say.

Thing Not To Be Today: weaselly. Weasels have a reputation for cunning because it is said they can suck the contents of an egg without breaking the shell. (That's not true, either.) The word weasel comes from the Old English weosule.


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