I’ve been unravelling this week – just some knitting, you understand 😉
It occurred to me that I often “unravel”, but I’ve never used (or even come across) the opposite word “ravel” … So I looked it up to check it exists, and sure enough, “ravel” is both a verb and a noun …
1. (Ravel something out) Untangle or unravel something.
‘Davy had finished ravelling out his herring net’
2. Unravel; fray.
‘a shirt with a ravelled collar’
3. Confuse or complicate (a question or situation)
‘I’d prefer you to keep your nose out of my business and not ravel things further’
A tangle, cluster, or knot.
‘a ravel of knitting’
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘entangle, confuse’): probably from Dutch ravelen ‘fray out, tangle’.
I have to admit I find the above definition of the verb rather confusing, with its use of the word “unravel” as part of the description. The confusion is appropriate, I suppose 😉
No, “ravel” is not a word I’m going to be using in everyday conversation. How about you?
Have you discovered any new words lately? I’d love to hear about them!