Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Clock vs timepiece

I learned something recently. In a couple of TV shows I've watched - specifically Heroes and Grimm - there is a character who works with clocks, though they are careful to use the term "timepiece". I thought this was just weird professional terminology pedantry, but then I read the Wikipedia article on clocks. It turns out that the word "clock" is derived from a word that means "bell", so a device that tells time but has no bells has a different name, "timepiece". So that's why your wristwatch or cheap wall clock is technically a timepiece. It also means that the name "Big Ben" for the Clock Tower in London is slightly more accurate than you might think after hearing that bit of trivia that Big Ben is actually the bell, not the tower.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - This also might make sense of the word "glockenspiel".
PPS - Though maybe not.

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