From the conker
on the ground to the playing conker
N o matter how long you’ve been learning a language, you come across things you’ve never heard of every day. I started reading an article in the Guardian entitled Paranoid Parenting, and there it was: “Wrapping your kids in cotton wool won’t do them any good, says Joanna Moorhead – so let’s stop worrying about nonsense like playing conkers in the school yard. As I had no idea what conkers were, I tried Google’s playing conkers, and the first result was Woodlands Junior School How to play conkers. Incidentally, Woodlands Junior School is a mine of information concerning British customs. Obviously, children have been playing conkers for decades, but some headteacher now fears they might get hurt and forbids the game in the school-yard unless they wear goggles. The Sun Online has photos of conker players.
There is apparently a Fédération Française de Conkers and the World Conkers Championship is taking place tomorrow in Ashton, Northamptonshire.