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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — cloche

Good morning, Netizens...

December 04, 2012

Word of the Day

  • cloche
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KLOHSH\


: a transparent plant cover used outdoors especially for protection against cold
: a woman's close-fitting hat usually with deep rounded crown and narrow brim

You may be able to extend your own garden's growing season considerably by using cloches to protect plants from colder temperatures.

"Another popular hat is the cloche, which rose to fame in the 1920s. The bell-shaped hats come in a variety of patterns, colors and textures." — From an article by Julia Hatmaker in the Patriot News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), September 23, 2012


The word "cloche" refers to very different things but the connection between them is apparent in the word's meaning: "cloche" is French for "bell," and both the gardening cloche and the hat cloche are typically shaped like the archetypal bell. The gourmands among you may be aware of another kind of cloche as well. Covered in our unabridged dictionary, Webster's Third New International, "cloche" also refers to a bell-shaped cover placed over food in cooking or serving. The French word "cloche" comes from Medieval Latin "clocca," which is also the source of the words "cloak" and "clock."

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.