Sad to report I failed my brooch certification test. I am old enough to wear big jewelry pins, but I cannot reliably pronounce the word. So let us broach this subject.
Why, over brioche, I asked, are broach and brooch pronounced the same way if poach and pooch are not? Brioche, that light slightly sweet bread made with a rich yeast dough, is sensibly said, "bree ausch".
A participant at the nature art workshop designed this elegant brooch:
|Nature art brooch design|
Just last week I wanted to wear my mother's acorn brooch. It must be here somewhere, but I didn't find it on a first pass through all the boxes and storage tubs in the apartment.
|Fritzi's brooch missing in action.|
Fritzi's brooch, of course, is a piece of jewelry held on a woman's clothing by a pin near her neck. As always when I go off course on these searches, I thank the Online Etymology Dictionary!
Broaching the subject of brooches led me off-track, as usual:
brooch (pronunciation American English)
"pierce," early 14c., from the same source as broach (n.). Meaning "begin to talk about" is 1570s, a figurative use with suggestions of "broaching" a cask or of spurring into action (compare Old French brochier, 12c., "to spur," also "to penetrate sexually"). Related: Broached broaching.
And as for the pronunciation, click here.
Who wears brooches? Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher, Kate Middleton, Coco Chanel, and early childhood educators. Albright used her pins to communicate diplomatic statements.
At the Montessori school we used pins and brooches to communicate study subjects--dragonflies, bees, flowers, fall leaves, spiders, ducks, mammals--even if we wore jeans. We did not make a big fashion statement, but children noticed and commented on our jewelry.
© 2013-2015 Nancy L. Ruder