In a word: Hair

You comb it every day, or brush it, it can be tangled, fine, smooth and silky or shiny.

It can fall out, you can have none, it can be red, brown, black, blonde, white, and a million shades in between.

Yes, it’s hair.

It can be pesky stuff, especially from animals who tend to moult and leave it everywhere.  We have a cat and well know the foibles of hair loss.

You can get it cut, get it coloured, trimmed, permed by a hairdresser in a salon, where lots of subjects are discussed, and even movies have been made around salons.

I haven’t been within a hairsbreadth of either living or dying, but I’m sure someone has.  That hairsbreadth is not very wide, and I’d rather have bullets, arrows or fists missing by that margin.

You can be in another’s hair, that is, being a pest.

There’s the hair of the dog, supposedly a hangover cure.

And, going to scary places will make your hair stand on end.


This is not to be confused with the word heir which means something completely different, namely it described the legatee or inheritor of the family fortune.

Or not.  Ages ago, only sons were seen as heirs, and that was even more prevalent among royal families.  It also applied to heirs when it came to titles, and the family wealth and property, which went to the eldest son.

It makes a good plotline for many a murder mystery.

Also, let’s be clear, there is also an heiress and an heirloom.


Then there is another, hare, which is a cousin of the rabbit and considered a pest.

I’m not quite sure how someone came up with the descriptor harebrained, which has nothing to do with the hare.

It could mean to run quickly and usually in a careless manner.

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