"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Monday, 24 November 2008


In a box of Swiss chocolates a number of the chocolates were described as having nibbed nuts in them. The adjective seemed to fit the context alright and its intended meaning was reasonably obvious (nuts made into tiny pieces) but did it really exist I wondered. The answer, it seems, is no. Nibbed (used of pens) means having a writing point or nib, especially of a certain kind, i,.e,. broad-nibbed. Alternatively it can be used more broadly to mean having a nib or point.

However, a niblet (n) is a small piece of something, especially of snack food. That is the word that should have been used but I still like the concept of 'nibbed hazelnuts' and it is less clumsy than 'niblets of hazelnut'.

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