Acorn by Eric Marland

Acorn by Eric Marland


This carving, in British Oak, by Eric Marland, celebrates the word ‘Acorn’, and was created as part of our exhibition ‘The Lost Words - Forget-me-not.’ For this exhibition artists have created a permanent record of the natural words removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary.

Size: 34 X 36 cm


NOUN: The fruit of the oak tree, a smooth oval nut in a rough cup-shaped base.

ORIGIN: Old English æcern, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aker, also to acre, later associated with oak and corn


Many a children’s illustrated alphabet begins with A is for Apple and shows a shiny red apple to prove the point. That role could just as easily have been assigned to the equally iconic ACORN in which case its place in an English children’s dictionary might well be secure. Without the tiny nuts how would the oak tree, that most emblematic of English trees, exist? After all, Charles II chose a mighty oak in which to hide from the Roundheads, not a stubby apple tree.

Perhaps the reduced status of acorns is a more recent phenomenon. If the Cambridge-based pioneer, Acorn Computers, had survived and eventually achieved ‘most profitable company in the world’ ranking instead of an American rival that ‘borrowed’ its name from the holding company set up by an English pop group, its inclusion in the Oxford Junior Dictionary would almost certainly be guaranteed.

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