Do you like mowing the lawn? Confession: I have never in my life done that job. My dad told me I should learn and I believe I said something like, “No thanks.” When living in an apartment during and after college, it was irrelevant. And after we moved to a house, we delegated tasks, and outdoor stuff like lawn care went to my husband. These days, my son has taken over much of the mowing. And I’m quite happy to let them at it. 😉

And as it turns out, my opinion is very classical. Lawn dates from about 1540 as “turf, a stretch of grass,” but not usually in a cultivated sense. It came directly from Middle English laune, which was “a meadow, open space in a forest or between woods.” Etymologists think this Middle English word was borrowed either from the Old French lande, meaning “heath, moor, barren land, clearing” or the Germanic ladam of similar meaning, from which we got land.

But it wasn’t until the 1730s that anyone thought to cultivate and mow these grassy expanses! The first written record we have of such a thing is from 1733.

Do you enjoy tending a lawn or does it rank as a dreaded chore in your family?


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