I can't believe no-one has clocked 'Be Nice to Nettles Week' (19-28 May) http://www.nettles.org.uk /
Despite what would be, for a pedant, the crippling handicap of running for a week and a half, 'Be Nice to Nettles Week' is knocking them in aisles internationally.
Their etymology is at variance with OED. They say "It is possible that the 'nettle' is derived from Noedl meaning a needle - referring to the stinging mechanism in the nettle leaves. Others suggest that it comes from the Latin nere and other similar old European verbs meaning to sew." where OED think "(Common Teut.: OE. netele, netle (and netel) fem. = Fris. nettel,"
They have a modern illustration of 'grasp the nettle' in "Mick McCarthy will be hard pressed to devise team talks as imaginative as Howard Wilkinson's. Before Sunderland played Liverpool last December, McCarthy's predecessor arrived in the home dressing room carrying a bag of nettles. First Wilkinson demonstrated that squeeezing the plants slowly in his palm stung painfully. Then he grasped the nettles swiftly and firmly, before explaining that this approach hurt less."

Though they miss 'to *** on a nettle' one of our great British sayings as in (OED) : " 1592 Greene Upst. Courtier B3, All these women that you heare brawling+and skolding thus, have seuerally pist on this bush of nettles."
BTW, if I am correct, as I believe I am, that Aaron Hill is the earliest recorded user of the 'grasping' idea, why does he never get the credit?

"Tender-hearted stroke a nettle,
And it stings you for your pains,
Grasp it like a man of mettle,
And it soft as silk remains.
'Tis the same with common natures,
Use them kindly they rebel,
But be rough as nutmeg grater,
And the rogues obey you well."
(Said to be verses written on a window pane in Scotland with a diamond) 'Grasping the nettle' used to be a buzz phrase in my Civil Service days and I often wondered how many of the senior users knew the second verse to the poem. I suspect quite a few did and it was something of an in-joke.

John Dean
Oxford
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I can't believe no-one has clocked 'Be Nice to Nettles Week'(19-28 May) http://www.nettles.org.uk / Despite what would be, for a pedant, the crippling handicap ofrunning for a week and a half, 'Be Nice to Nettles Week' is knocking themin aisles internationally.

I always liked him as Bergerac; all that running around gasping and sweating hardly a bed of roses. As Barnaby, though, he's resting on
his laurels. Can't blame him at his age.
Philip Eden
I can't believe no-one has clocked 'Be Nice to Nettles Week' (19-28 May) http://www.nettles.org.uk /

Well, Americans hardly ever think about them. Although that site says "Nettles can be found in all temperate areas in the northern hemisphere," I've lived in five different regions of the US and have visited others, and I can't remember seeing a stinging nettle there. Poison oak and poison ivy are what we watch for, there. What say our other US participants? I remember first seeing nettles on a visit to the North of England in 1983, and they're all over the gardens in the Netherlands.
I was impressed to learn they are the main food source of the butterfly population here. I think twice now before uprooting them (with thick gloves) but I still do anyway.

Best Donna Richoux
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I can't believe no-one has clocked 'Be Nice to Nettles Week' (19-28 May) http://www.nettles.org.uk /

Well, Americans hardly ever think about them. Although that site says "Nettles can be found in all temperate areas in ... stinging nettle there. Poison oak and poison ivy are what we watch for, there. What say our other US participants?

There are definitely Stinging Nettles in Indiana. Whether or not they are the same nettles as found in England I don't know. Purdue University's webpage identifies them as Urtica Dioica. Nasty bastards. The sting stays for hours.
Well, Americans hardly ever think about them. Although that site ... we watch for, there. What say our other US participants?

There are definitely Stinging Nettles in Indiana. Whether or not they are the same nettles as found in England I don't know. Purdue University's webpage identifies them as Urtica Dioica. Nasty bastards. The sting stays for hours.

We have them in Quebec, too. My wife (NB) just rooted some out of a flower box she's readying for the impatiens.
(which we pronounce impatience. Same elsewhere?)
The May 24th long weekend is planting time up here. Happy Victoria Day, to one and all.
Cheers, Sage
The May 24th long weekend is planting time up here. Happy Victoria Day, to one and all.

Empire Day is long gone in Rightpondia. Why did we celebrate it at primary school in the 1950s by dressing up as nurses and cowboys?

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
May)

There are definitely Stinging Nettles in Indiana. Whether or not ... as Urtica Dioica. Nasty bastards. The sting stays for hours.

We have them in Quebec, too. My wife (NB) just rooted some out of a flower box she's readying for the impatiens. (which we pronounce impatience. Same elsewhere?)

Pronounced "impatients" by this lover of practically non-destructible, easy-to-grow, pretty flowers. Have you tried the Rose Impatiens? Not quite as indestructible, but very pretty. See a picture at http://www.floridata.com/ref/i/imp wall.cfm
The May 24th long weekend is planting time up here. Happy Victoria Day, to one and all.

Empire Day is long gone in Rightpondia. Why did we celebrate it at primary school in the 1950s by dressing up as nurses and cowboys?

I don't know; perhaps because they were the costumes most easily available? We didn't dress up like that for Empire Day. We celebrated by making daisy chains: daisies were supposed to be symbolic of the Empire, the mother country surrounded by the colonies.
Fran
I can't believe no-one has clocked 'Be Nice to Nettles Week' (19-28 May) http://www.nettles.org.uk /

Well, Americans hardly ever think about them. Although that site says "Nettles can be found in all temperate areas in ... nettles on a visit to the North of England in 1983, and they're all over the gardens in the Netherlands.

I was once surprised, and displeased, to discover them the hard way while weeding in the back yard, in Ohio. I think I've seen them once or twice since. Yes, poison oak and poison ivy are way more common here and way worse.
According to my Peterson wildflower book, Arizona and Texas each have a painfully stinging plant called "mala mujer" evil woman. I have no further comment on that subject.
I was impressed to learn they are the main food source of the butterfly population here. I think twice now before uprooting them (with thick gloves) but I still do anyway.

Only a few species of butterfly, right?

Jerry Friedman
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