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

Friday, 9 July 2021

Word To Use Today: mullock.

 Here's a word so vigorous and satisfying that many people over the centuries have seized upon it with glee.

The first dictionary entry for mullock defines the word as the waste material from a mine, and, hence, worthless material or rubbish. 

Then there are local uses of the word to mean a state of confusion, or a mess or a muddle. You've made a right mullock of that.

If you're in Australia or New Zealand - and, after all, many people are - then mullock is rock containing no gold, or rock that's had its gold extracted. Mullock can also mean worthless information, or nonsense, and to poke mullock at someone is to make fun of them.

Dictionaries, however, only reporting facts rather than making suggestions, overlook the word's potential for relieving the feelings.

So, next time you pick up a mug and the breakable coaster comes with it, I do believe that a useful response might be oh mullock!

It won't mend the coaster, but it'll be quite consoling, all the same.

Word To Use Today: mullock. The Old English word for dust was myl, and the Old Norse mylja means to crush.

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