This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday 4 January 2016

Spot the Frippet: cardinal.

I've never seen a human cardinal (the sort that advises and elects the pope) though I understand that they're the ones in the red robes.

There's plenty of that bright cardinal red about, though. It can be found on cardinal beetles

File:Pyrochroa coccinea (Cardinal beetle), Elst (Gld), the Netherlands - 2.jpg
photo by Bj.schoenmakers

 cardinal flowers:

Lobelia cardinalis - Cardinal Flower.jpg

 but not the cardinal spider

Tegenaria parietina MHNT.jpg

which is so named because Cardinal Wolsey: 

File:Cardinal Woolsey by unknown artist.jpg

either loved them or hated them, no one's quite sure which. 

This sort of cardinal is red, too:


Then there are the cardinal points, north south east and west - though how you spot those I have not the faintest idea.

Still, the cardinal virtues - justice, prudence, temperance and fortitude are I'm sure displayed all around you, and especially if you can find a mirror. If you can't find a mirror then how about a cardinal sin? That's any of the seven deadly sins, which are all easy to find.

The cardinal vowels...well, the idea is that they're defined by the shape your mouth makes when it says them. Oooooh! will do. 

The mathematicians among us will know all about cardinal numbers, and the non-mathematicians will know that in astrology cardinal refers to anything relating to the star signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

And the best bit of all?

It's this:

Spot the Frippet. The word cardinal comes from the Latin cardinālis, which means to do with hinges.

Hinges. You have to laugh, you know.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are very welcome, but please make them suitable for The Word Den's family audience.