"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."

Sunday, 4 January 2009


The mantel or mantelpiece, also known as a chimneypiece, either originated in medieval times as a simple hood that projected over a grate to catch the smoke or as a shelf with hooks upon which one hung one’s wet mantle or cloak. Nowadays the term has evolved to include the decorative framework around the fireplace, and can include an elaborate designs extending right up to the ceiling.


  1. This one is great...we just learned the proper meaning of a "mantle". I love this learning adventure and you sharing words like this, it's fun.

    We never knew that there were special hooks for placing your mantle/coat on...neato.

    smiles :o)

  2. I thought they were invented so that you had somewhere to put your christmas cards.

  3. Not originally - it was to put your brass candlesticks at either end and your clock in the middle. Christmas cards came later.

  4. Candlesticks? Too posh fo us working class Scots. Wally dugs were all the rage for a while. One wally dug at each end and the clock in the middle. Now that I recognise.

  5. Wally dug - new expression for me. According to a dictionary it is Scots for a china dog. Was that to match the three plaster ducks flying across the wall, I wonder?