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Word for Wednesday: Catherine Wheel

This month’s Word for Wednesday theme is fireworks.

firework is a device with an explosive that burns with coloured flames. The word dates to the 1570s from the Old English ‘fyr’ and ‘work’. 

So far we’ve looked at sparklers and fountains. Our third firework for November is the Catherine wheel

A Catherine wheel is a spinning firework that emits colourful sparks. It is usually affixed to something solid like a wall before being lit.

The Catherine wheel is named after St Catherine of Alexandria who was sentenced to death on a spiked wheel which broke at her touch. She was instead executed by beheading. 

The word wheel comes from the Old English ‘hweol’.

17 Nov 2021
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