The 12 words of Christmas

Hooray, it’s Scrabble™ Week! With the nights drawing in and the Christmas invites going out, it’s the perfect time of year to get together around your favourite board game and let the annual family tournament commence.

Here are a dozen delightful Christmassy words you can send your ‘truelove’ (which is a word in itself) – even if you can’t fit them too easily on a Scrabble board.

They are real – honest!!

CAGANER: a squatting defecating figure in a Catalan Christmas creche scene – nice!

FAROLITO: a paper lantern used by Hispanics in Christmas processions

GLOGG: a hot spiced wine and liquor punch served in Scandinavia as a Christmas drink – yum!!

JONCANOE: a Caribbean Christmas dance ceremony

LUMINARIA: a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern

MARCHPANE: an old word for marzipan used to coat Christmas cakes

MUMMERING: a Christmas time house-visiting tradition in Newfoundland and Labrador – unlikely to come up in Scrabble with only 2 M’s in the set!!

POHUTUKAWA: a New Zealand evergreen which has clusters of red flowers in December, so called the Christmas tree

SCHLUMBERGERA: a Brazilian cactus with red flowers, also known as Christmas cactus

TUKTU: an Inuit word for the caribou or reindeer

ZAMPOGNA: an Italian bagpipe used in Christmas music

and – last but not least….ZYGOCACTUS: another Brazilian cactus, aka the Christmas cactus.

Christmas Quiz – what’s the difference between a SCHLUMBERGERA and a ZYGOCACTUS????!!

By Mark Nyman
Collins Dictionary

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

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