Sometimes a word is worth examining simply because of the diverse meanings that it has picked up over the centuries. Such a word is stool.
Here’s a rundown on stool through the centuries.
- A simple piece of wooden furniture designed for sitting 
- A seat designed for a single individual, especially a king or bishop 
- A low short bench or form upon which to rest the foot, to step or kneel 
- A seat for an offender 
- A frame upon which to work embroidery or tapestry 
- A commode or privy 
- A seat by a grave or tomb 
- A base or stand upon which a thing is set to raise it above the ground or general surface 
- A bench, counter, table, trestle 
- The stand of a beehive 
- Feces 
- The action of evacuating the bowels 
- A church pew 
- The stump of a tree which has been cut down 
- The scar left by a wound 
- The sill of a window 
- The ‘eye’ of an apple, pear or quince 
- A brick-molder's shed or workshop 
- The head or top of a mushroom 
- A decoy bird 
- A seat designed to be used by a clerk sitting at a high desk 
- A police informer 
The last item reveals where “stool pigeon” came from. It was a pigeon fastened to a tree stump to act as a decoy to attract wild pigeons. It betrayed its own, albeit unwittingly.
SIDEBAR: If you live in the GT region and are over 50, get a team of 3 together for this year's Senior Spelling Bee. Practice rounds at TADL Wed. April 25 & Thurs. April 26 at noon. Main event Friday, May 4th, 1 p.m., at the Gilbert Lodge on Twin Lakes. Call the TC Senior Center for details at 231-922-4911.
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