“Everything has a name, Helen”.
That’s what we learned in the movie, “The Miracle Worker” (I’m talking about the wonderful original black and white version of the movie starring the magnificent Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke–not that suck ass Lifetime/WE cable shit starring a grown-up Patty Duke in the role of Annie Sullivan, with a younger Melissa Gilbert and her frighteningly large teeth, performing a cinematic abortion in the role of Helen Keller).
Yes, everything has a name and today in Le Blog du Laurie, we’re going to learn some of the more unusual names for the most usual things we utilize every damn day.
Let’s start at the start.
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 (by any other name it would still be gross)
4 . COLUMELLA NASI – The bottom part of the nose between the nostrils.
5. DRAGÉES – Small beadlike pieces of candy, usually silver-colored, used for decorating cookies, cakes and sundaes. (chipped a tooth on one!)
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
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’. (To me, it always felt as if Alka-Seltzer was effervesent-ing just beneath my skin)
17. OCTOTHORPE – The symbol ‘#’ on a telephone handset. Bell Labs’
engineer Don Macpherson created the word in the 1960’s by combining
octo-, as in eight, with the name of one of his favorite athletes,
1912 Olympic decathlon champion Jim Thorpe. (In that case, Laurie Kendrick is responsible for inventing the “HexaPhelps”–the first six gray hairs you find in your head after the age of 47)
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. (Always that ‘peen” was the past participle of ‘pee”)
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 (Does rustling of the much cheaper polyester/sateen count??)
26. SNORKEL BOX – A mailbox with a protruding receiver to allow people to deposit mail without leaving their cars. (Wow!! I always thought this referred to a porn star who loved swimming above coral reefs)
27. SPRAINTS – Otter dung (and you’ve spent half of your life referring to it as merely “otter shit”)
28. TANG – The projecting prong on a tool or instrument (I always thought this was Neal Armstgrong’s favorite drink)
29. WAMBLE – Stomach rumbling.
30. ZARF – A holder for a handleless coffee cup (next time you’re in Starbucks, tell the barrista to “Zarf me”…see what happens)
31. PHILTRIM -The infranasal depression is the vertical groove in the upper lip, formed where the nasomedial and maxillary processes meet during embryonic development. The philtrum allows humans to express a much larger range of lip motions than would otherwise be possible, which enhances vocal and nonverbal communication.
The philtrim is quite fabled. No one knew what purpose it served for years, so most simply made up and explanation..and we, the gullible lemmings that we are…bought these explanations hook, line and sinker.
I’ve heard some say it’s the indention left by God’s finger when he quieted us in the womb, so we’d have no memory of life in that infernal, fleshy cavern OR perhaps, that we’d not remember any trace of life before our nine-month contract with nature to evolve in utero.
My opinion? As a child, I was always aware of my philtrim. I could also purse my lips and extend them as far out as they could go, thus allowing me to suck up upper lip into my vast nostrils. Yes, they were wide..SO wide that I swear I could smell my own earlobes.
I knew it allowed me some labial maneuverability, but it always looked so odd to me. I had a basic grasp on why it was there, but I had no idea as to how it got there. My juvenile mind reasoned, simply, that my mother had .eaten a lot of elbow macaroni during all three .trimesters and perhaps she didn’t chew as thoroughly .as she should have and one-half of the little undigested .bastards landed in between my nose and upper lip and .just kind of stayed there.
So, as a kid when my doctor would mention my Ph factor, I simply assumed he meant “pasta halves”.