Thursday, January 5, 2012

The spider taketh hold with her hands

Someone told me a story about their little girl who spotted a cob web in the bathroom.  She flipped out and started screaming how the spider was going to come after her.  Her daddy told her that it was just a cobweb and that there were no spiders and nothing would get her.  Crisis averted.  
She accepted that answer . . . for about two seconds  . . . then she started carrying on about the "cob" was going to get her.

How do you explain that one?

Well . . . what exactly is a cobweb?  Don’t ask me why, but I always thought that a cobweb was a stringy version of a dust bunny . . . obviously I was misinformed.  It is, indeed, a spider web; although, nowadays, it used describe an unoccupied and defunct one.

So, what in the heck is a cob??  Well, cob is a very old word . . . from the 16th century . . . that is synonymous with spider.  It was derived from an even older word from the 14th century . . . coppe.  Coppe is short for atorcoppe which is literally means ‘poison-head’. 

So the little girl had every reason to freak out . . . it was possible that a cob would come and get her.  EEK!

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