"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."

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


A few years ago the dole had but one common meaning – being on unemployment benefit – but I rarely hear the word in that context nowadays. It originated as any share of money or food or clothing that had been charitably given and in the Nineteenth Century was commonly used to refer to penny loaves which were traditionally given out to children at a funeral.


  1. When I saw this word in my blogger updates listing, my first thought came to pineapples ;o). Do you have the canned Dole pineapples there?

    Oh, speaking of pineapples....those funny little flower green plants that you posted awhile back...

    Do you know if they grow around VT? They look so much like something in our front yard, on rocky/ledge type ground that is covered with grass and this kind of funny, fast growing plant. When we mow over it, it takes our breathe away and causes an allergic type reaction. I wouldn't dare to eat these plants that we have.

    Just some random thoughts to share back at ya, my friend ;o).

  2. Hi Heather,
    If you mean the lichens, yes they grow everywhere but there are lots of different ones with lots of different properties. Reindeer love some of them - its their main diet!