The previous post’s discussion of botón/button seems to call for a follow-up posting about ojal, the Spanish word for ‘the opening in an article of clothing that a button passes through.’ English calls it straightforwardly a buttonhole, but the Spanish imagination sees that hole differently, given that ojal was created from ojo, the familiar Spanish word corresponding to its native English relative eye. Actually English can use the same metaphor, as in speaking of the eye of a needle or of the type of fastening called a hook and eye. In addition, English uses the diminutive eyelet for ‘a small round hole in leather or cloth for threading a lace, string, or rope through,’ as well as ‘a metal ring used to reinforce such a hole.’

© 201r Steven Schwartzman

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lensandpensbysally
    Oct 27, 2014 @ 11:44:40

    Memories…about when people actually repaired their own clothing. I even had to get my sewing basket out last month.


  2. shoreacres
    Oct 27, 2014 @ 20:00:33

    And there’s eyelet lace, too, like this lovely Edwardian dress.


  3. kathryningrid
    Nov 02, 2014 @ 22:44:20

    By cracky, that explanation is better than a poke in the eye! 😉


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If you encounter an unfamiliar technical term in any of these postings, check the Glossary in the bar across the top of the page.
©2011–2016 Steven Schwartzman
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