Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Withenay's Wednesday Word - a series about words and their meanings. 
Sometimes the word is chosen because I like it, sometimes because it is unusual, sometimes because I have heard or read it in the previous week; often because that is just where the dictionary took me. Together we can expand our vocabulary, inch by inch (or maybe letter by letter). Your challenge is to invent a sentence in the comments box that includes it.

a low woody plant, smaller than a tree, a bush (a noun)
from Old English scrybb scrub

Not only do I love words but I also love names, and am fascinated to know where people's names come from, or why their parents chose them. Those with extraordinarily long memories will recall a post I wrote about Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria, who (I feel) needed everything that his name could give him. Today's word was born out of a similar fascination after hearing about Anya Shrubsole.

Anya is a cricketer, currently our leading wicket taker in the Women's World Cup that is taking place in India. Sadly today England were knocked out of the competition - disappointing for the reigning world champions not to be able to defend their title in the final (but a magnificent effort by the West Indies!). I feel Shrubsole is an unusual name, although I'm prepared to be bombarded by hundreds of them correcting my error.

As a shrub is a small tree, perhaps I should also mention Billy Twelvetrees, recently picked to play for England's Rugby Union team in the 6 Nations. I gather that this was his mother's maiden name, that his father chose to take when they got married. His father then took up a career as a tree surgeon - a magnificent move I think.

I do wonder: does it mean anything that the man has the tree - indeed twelve of them - but the woman is a shrub...and a sole on the bottom of a foot? I do hope not! After all, both excel in their own fields (ahem!)

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