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Friday 8 April 2022

Word To Use Today: clan.

 We tend to think of Celtic people when we think about clans. The Scots, in particular, make a big thing of them, which in the Scots case is based partly on one's ancestors, and partly one's name.

There's quite an industry built up round this idea, from holidays to competitive games to the patterns seen on kilts and plaids. And teddy-bears' waistcoats. And paperweights and wallpaper and more or less everything else.

There are ancient friendships among the clans, and ancient enmities, but at present these seem to engender more fun (if of a steely kind) than bloodshed, phew.

But, for all that, more or less everyone, however non-Scots, belongs to a clan because clan can also mean an extended family (or perhaps a not-very-extended family of there are lots of you). 

In either case a clan, whether based around a Highland Chief, or a great-grandfather, or even a shared interest in a rugby football team, will be a source of much bickering, support, resentment, love, work, and friendship.

So just a concentration of humanity, really.

Word To Use Today: clan. This word comes from the Scottish Gaelic clann, which means family or descendants (interesting that it's descendants, and not ancestors) from the Latin word planta, which means, endearingly, sprout.

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