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Cobwebs and Spider Webs

November 9, 2018

Who knows the difference between a cobweb and a spider web? The answer is very simple, but I had never actually formulated it until I was writing a poem about a spider the other day, and asked myself the question.

Here it is: a spider web is still lived in by the spider. But a cobweb is abandoned. There’s nobody there. It’s an empty house. Derelict.

Maybe you knew that already? I haven’t looked it up to check but I am fairly sure it’s right.

By the way, I will post the poem about the spider on this blog if ten people ask me to.

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  1. Simon Carter permalink

    Seems you’re right. Cobweb comes from an old English word for spider: attorcoppe meaning poison & head. Corn cob has the same root.
    I’ll be the first to ask for your poem!

  2. Thanks Simon. I’ve had two requests on Twitter already, so you are the third!

  3. Simon Carter permalink

    Story of my life! Incidentally this meaning of koppe for head also leads us to Liverpool via Spion Kop which is from the Africaans / Dutch for head and to one of your previous posts on the kippah.

  4. Cherylene permalink

    Please post your poem on spiders Brandon.

  5. Mark Brafield permalink

    Oh go on then.

  6. Hi Mark. Thanks for the request. That’s now five. But I won’t do it until I get ten (from ten different people).


  7. Luc permalink

    In Flemish (dialect) we have “spinnekop” (spider) and “kopbestel” (cob-web brush). And now for the poem please.

  8. John Dunn permalink

    I’m happy to make it seven, but I can’t help wondering: as it’s your blog to do what you like with, why don’t you just publish it anyway?

  9. Simon Carter permalink

    Another interesting expression. It supposedly became popular during the civil war in America when travelling salesmen in the south would drum on their box of wares to warn of their approach in case householders thought they were spies.

  10. Craig permalink

    I enjoyed your last poem Brandon so i’ll add another request.

    • Thanks Craig – that is now eight requests.

      Thank you for the UFO link – I will show it to my wife!

      Best wishes

  11. Craig permalink

    Sorry to derail here Brandon but I do not have a twitter account to make a response. Regarding your wifes UFO sighting that you posted. Did either of you see this article ? Same date, coincidence…….?

    • Thanks Craig. Yes, Rochelle saw this the next day – and of course it strengthened her conviction that she really had seen something out of the ordinary!

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