Monday, 24 September 2012

Quillet

It's always good to come across a new word, especially if it has some music in it, and depths of meaning. Today I happened upon 'quillet', which was a new one on me. Its earliest meaning is the obvious one of a small quill or something similarly tubular, but it then took off on a parallel course, Latin-derived, to mean a verbal nicety, a fine distinction, a quibble, apparently from 'quiddity' via 'quillity'. There it is in Love's Labour's Lost - 'Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil'. But from before Shakespeare's time comes the meaning of a narrow field or strip of land, the sense in which the word is still used in the West Country, especially Cornwall. There, the little sheltered fields of flowers - Cornish violets, pinks, daffodils, anemones, often grown commercially - still go by the name of quillets. This is somehow good to know. Or perhaps it's just me...

9 comments:

  1. excellent new word, thanks Nige! (and i'm cornish and have never once heard it used - perhaps it's a west cornish thing)

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  2. It is good to know...

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  3. And there was a nice picture there of a flowery Cornish field - but it's gone. Why's that? It's still 'there' theoretically...

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  4. there's a wood fair in chapel lawn, shropshire this weekend where a community group has just bought a quillet of the ancient Brineddin Wood

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  5. BBC Radio 4 programme this morning (12/10/2012) on the "Flower Fields Of Cornwall" used the term "quillet". I remember seeing the remnants of one or two in the 1960s near St Ives. Still a few violets growing in them.

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  6. Wodehouse uses the expression 'quillet of the law'. Utilising the first sense.

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  7. شركة نقل عفش بالرياض وجدة والدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
    شركة نقل عفش بمكة
    شركة نقل عفش بينبع

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