Englishisms- Learning from scratch

Ignorance cannot be bliss all the time. Today when I was surfing the net, I came across a question which set my brain cells ticking! The question went thus, “What to call that groove above your lip?” And I found myself scratching my head! I wondered why it never occurred to me before.  To satiate my inquisitiveness, I decided to Google it! (Who else!) And lo, I just tumbled on to an entire list which answered such seemingly simple questions for which no one had the answer!back to school

To say the least, I was thrilled to learn the new words and was nodding all the way, because the questions were so familiar and related to our daily routine in some way or the other. At times, we tend to ignore the minute things, wherein lies the greatest details.

So here is the list from Webster dictionary for you to enjoy. I am sure you will be amazed!

Aglet : the tag covering the ends of a lace or point

Armsaye : the armhole in clothing.

Escutcheon: a protective or ornamental plate around a keyhole

Ferrule :  the knob on the far end of an umbrella

Keeper : the loop on a belt that keeps the end in place after it has passed through the buckle

Lemniscate : the infinity symbol (I learnt this in my Math books !)

Liripipe: the long tail on a graduate’s academic hood

Lunule : the whitish mark at the base of a fingernail

Minimus : the little finger or toe

Philtrum : that vertical groove above your lip

Punt : an indentation at the bottom of a molded glass bottle

Tittle : the dot over i or j    (My English teacher never told me this ! )

Tongue: a movable pin in a buckle that passes through a hole in the strap to be secured

Vamp:  the part of a shoe or boot that covers the front of the foot

That was some real enlightenment and I am glad I got to learn some new words, although i would never address a shoe as ‘vamp’ ! :)

40 thoughts on “Englishisms- Learning from scratch

  1. Hmmmm…. You could simply have asked me! ;-)

    Philtrum is indeed the groove over your lip where hair is less, and is generally kept bare, unless you want to impersonate Mr. Chaplin!
    It is the area where, to make things simpler, the two sides of your upper jaw (and the lower part of your nose) meet (and fuse) as you develop in the womb.
    When they do not meet, it may result into a defect called as ‘cleft lip’ or even ‘cleft palate’ if it also involves the nasal area.

    Anyway, in humans it seems to serve no function…. other than to accumulate sweat and partition the moustache! :-P

    You want some more wierd-sounding names?
    Read Human Anatomy.
    And try to find out how many muscles, in the human body, have the name ‘minimi’ or ‘minimus’ in them.
    An assignment for you, Mrs. Priya! :-P

    P. S.:- THAT was the most ‘unglamorous’ ‘vamp’ I have ever heard of!

  2. I’m a vocab freak too..but somehow I’ve never come across these words..I always make use of ‘that thing ‘ while referring to them..:P
    Thanks for sharing this..

  3. I knew only a few of those! I always thought ‘tittle’ is a very appropriate word for that dot!! :))
    Anyway, I love looking up words! Great post :)

  4. thanks for increasing my knowledge though I don’t think I would be able to retain half of them.. :(

    You have a great amalgam of posts making it pleasurable for readers to come again and again.. :)

  5. Thank you for making me feel so uneducated ;) but I have an excuse: English is not my mother tongue.

    Something came to mind: When I was visiting my native Holland one time, I was trying to come up with the Dutch word for the English word “pothole” and couldn’t. I said to my brother, “what is the word for a hole in the road when the tarmac wears away?”

    He considered that for a minute and shook his head. “We don’t have those here.”

    No wonder I couldn’t come up with the word. Hurray for good roads in Holland ;)

  6. Pingback: Walking in the rains… | The Feisty Pad

  7. Actually the indentation above the lip is the forgetting spot when souls are reborn into new bodies. It’s where a finger of some sort says, “Shhhh…” And then the person forgets. Most do. If the indentation is large, the forgetting is large.

  8. It looks to me that this website doesnt load in a Motorola Droid. Are other folks having the exact same problem? I enjoy this blog and dont want to have to miss it whenever Im gone from my computer.

  9. Pingback: You know you’re a blogger when… | AwkwardList

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