31 January 2009

Names of Things You Never Knew had Names

I'm trying to write my next column but all I've got is dishy dirt gossip from my informants that the editor will excise as is her wont.

So I'm reduced to wordsmithery stuff - which I love - such as nutty names:

  1. AGLET - The plain or ornamental covering on the end of a shoelace.
  2. ARMSAYE - The armhole in clothing.
  3. CHANKING - Spat-out food, such as rinds or pits.
  4. COLUMELLA NASI - The bottom part of the nose between the nostrils.
  5. DRAGÉES - Small beadlike pieces of candy, usually silver-coloured, used for decorating cookies, cakes and sundaes.
  6. FEAT - A dangling curl of hair.
  7. FERRULE - The metal band on a pencil that holds the eraser in place.
  8. HARP - The small metal hoop that supports a lampshade.
  9. HEMIDEMISEMIQUAVER - A 64th note. (A 32nd is a demisemiquaver, and a 16th note is a semiquaver.)
  10. JARNS, NITTLES, GRAWLIX, and QUIMP - Various squiggles used to denote cussing in comic books.
  11. KEEPER - The loop on a belt that keeps the end in place after it has passed through the buckle.
  12. KICK or PUNT - The indentation at the bottom of some wine bottles. It gives added strength to the bottle but lessens its holding capacity.
  13. LIRIPIPE - The long tail on a graduate's academic hood.
  14. MINIMUS - The little finger or toe.
  15. NEF - An ornamental stand in the shape of a ship.
  16. OBDORMITION - The numbness caused by pressure on a nerve; when a limb is 'asleep'.
  17. OCTOTHORPE - The symbol '#' on a telephone handset. Bell Labs' engineer Don Macpherson created the word in the 1960s by combining octo-, as in eight, with the name of one of his favourite athletes, 1912 Olympic decathlon champion Jim Thorpe.
  18. OPHRYON - The space between the eyebrows on a line with the top of the eye sockets.
  19. PEEN - The end of a hammer head opposite the striking face.
  20. PHOSPHENES - The lights you see when you close your eyes hard. Technically the luminous impressions are due to the excitation of the retina caused by pressure on the eyeball.
  21. PURLICUE - The space between the thumb and extended forefinger.
  22. RASCETA - Creases on the inside of the wrist.
  23. ROWEL - The revolving star on the back of a cowboy's spurs.
  24. SADDLE - The rounded part on the top of a matchbook.
  25. SCROOP - The rustle of silk.
  26. SNORKEL BOX - A mailbox with a protruding receiver to allow people to deposit mail without leaving their cars.
  27. SPRAINTS - Otter dung.
  28. TANG - The projecting prong on a tool or instrument.
  29. WAMBLE - Stomach rumbling.
  30. ZARF - A holder for a handleless coffee cup.

Most are useless but I can spot some goodies:

  • Next time I lay out my sumptuous mezès -olives, pippy nibbles - I'll plonk a sideplate next to Dermot, "Here, you scruff, these are for your chanks."
  • "Allow me, m'dear. An errant feat."
  • "Ack - don't you hate waking from a siesta with obdormition?"
  • "Hammer, Greg? Coming up, mate. Lemme me just wipe the peen."
  • Can't wait to visit the ex ma-in-law and head out to some Nacogdoches dive and fall into convo with some Sam Elliott clone. Ya know? "I say, I do like your rowels." "Thet so? (Rumble) Well just leave my feats alone."
  • "Ah! There comes Clarissa now - that unmistakeable scroop."
  • Was that my wamble? I do beg your pardon."
  • 1 comment :

    Wells said...

    Acnestis: on an animal, the point of the back that lies between the shoulders and lower back, which cannot be reached to be scratched.