Tag Archives: vegetal
the apple of one’s eye – la prunelle de ses yeux

the apple of one’s eye – la prunelle de ses yeux

    sloes – prunelles       The apple of one’s eye is a person or thing that is very precious or much loved.   For example, the Scottish poet Michael Bruce wrote, in Lochleven (about 1767):                         His sole delight, To tend his daughter, beautiful and young; To watch her paths; to fill […]

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crow-keeper

crow-keeper

    Wheat field with crows (1890) – Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)     Of a Crow-keeper There be many called crow-keepers; but, indeed, There’s no crow-keeper but thou in time of seed; Where others keep crows out, like starvelings forlorn, To keep crows in plight, thou keepest crows in the corn. John Heywood – […]

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cabbage & chou

cabbage & chou

          Cabbage leaves form a compact globular heart or head, and, originally, the ‘cabbage’ was the head thus formed, the plant being called cabbage-cole or cabbage-colewort. This original sense of ‘cabbage’ is preserved in cabbage lettuce.   It is generally said that the English word cabbage is from Old Picard French […]

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Green, an unsettling colour

Green, an unsettling colour

      Verdigris is a bright bluish-green encrustation or patina formed on copper or brass by atmospheric oxidation, consisting of basic copper carbonate. The word verdigris is from Old French verte-gres, earlier vert de Grece, meaning green of Greece.     ETYMOLOGIES   The word green is etymologically related to the words grass and grow. And […]

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Le nénufar et l’ognon (ou les avatars de l’orthographe française)

  Le préjugé orthographique ne se justifie ni par la logique, ni par l’histoire… il se fonde sur une tradition relativement récente, formée surtout d’ignorance. Histoire de la langue française, par Ferdinand Brunot (1860-1938)     Les Français considèrent souvent l’orthographe de leur langue comme quasi sacrée – comme si elle était gravée dans le […]

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