August 26, 2017
easel (noun)
\EE-zul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a frame for supporting something (as an artist's canvas)
How do you use it?
Mom put together a collage of photos showing our family through the years and displayed it on an easel at my grandparents' fiftieth wedding anniversary party.
Are you a word wiz?

The word "easel," which we associate with art, originated from the Dutch name for an animal. What animal do you think gave its name to the "easel"?

"Easel" most likely comes from "ezel," the Dutch word for "donkey." Scholars think the Dutch might have started using "ezel" to name the artist's frame because the two function similarly: the donkey is a beast of burden that holds and carries things and the artist's frame holds and carries paints, canvases, and brushes. By 1596, English speakers had adopted the Dutch word, respelling it "easel." They probably chose the Dutch name because they admired the magnificent oil paintings by the Dutch master artists who were then famous throughout Europe.
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