The Word “Bollard”

As a Dutchwoman, I consider water as much part of my mindscape as land, so it’s wonderful to encounter a word related to that in English that I previously only had in Holland. It’s also a wonderfully specific detail to add to a car chase scene (the low metal poles that can lower into or rise from the street for traffic control) or a harbour setting (a stumpy big metal pole to lash your boat onto), when I’m writing.

When I say “bollard”, “bowler hat” comes to mind, so now I’m picturing James Bond… or the Dutch word “Holderdebolder” which means “arse over teakettle”. A noun for a quaint adventure story. If you want the sound picture, or you speak Dutch and you’d like a random song about having a cow in the attic (yes really), here’s “Holderbolder” on youtube.

P.S. If you like learning words too, I encourage you to subscribe to A Word a Day as well.

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