Monday, 21 May 2012
Donning and Doffing
As you step out in the cold misery of a British May, you don your hat. Then you see a lady of your acquaintance and you doff your hat. Then you don it again. Doff. Don. Doff. Don. And suddenly you realise, in a moment of etymological ecstasy, that the verb don is merely a contraction of do on, and that doff is merely a contraction of do off. And you're so excited that you kiss that poor lady and run off howling and hatless.