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Tuesday 9 February 2016

Thing To Do Today: flip.

If you're French then today is Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), if Dutch, conversely, then it's fast night (vaste avond) and if Croatian then today is carnival Tuesday (pokladni utorak).

For English speakers today is either Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday (the day to have our sins forgiven). The two names are linked: tomorrow Lent begins, and during Lent the custom is to stop eating some sorts of the nicer foods. To avoid waste, all the nice left-overs are traditionally mixed up in pancakes for a final gorgeous feast.

In some places in England and America, though, instead of eating their pancakes people run about with them:

English pancake race

I know the story of how this is supposed to have begun - with a lady late for church - but, even so this is deeply odd behaviour. Still, as long as everyone's happy.

Making pancakes is a long, hot and rather fraught business, but, to be clear, the sort of flipping The Word Den is recommending involves making pancakes turn somersaults in the air rather than flipping your lid, that is, indulging in a burst of out-of-control rage.

To do one without risk of the other, I would recommend flipping your pancakes over a clean table.

Thing To Do Today: flip. This word is probably an imitation of the flipping process.

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