Words at Play

Words for Things You Didn't Know Have Names

What to call that groove above your lip
19 Jul 2022

words for things you didnt know have names philtrum

Definition:

philtrum : the vertical groove on the median line of the upper lip

Example Sentence:

They said although it looks like a nose bleed, it appears to be the shadow of Will's philtrum, or the vertical groove on the median line of the upper lip.
— Katie Palmer, Express (London, Eng.), 14 Jul. 2022

Origin:

In Greek, the primary meaning of philtrum is "love potion" - which suggests that seductive powers were attributed to this facial feature.

words for things you didnt know have names ferrule

Definition:

ferrule : the protective point or knob on the far end of an umbrella

Example Sentence:

Not for no reason has this film already been banned in Russia and a few of its satellite states. Which is surely the greatest tribute a satirist could ever hope for, short of a cyanide-infused ferrule of an umbrella in the back of the leg.
Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand), 17 Mar. 2018

Origin:

Ferrule comes from the Latin viriola, meaning "small bracelet." This makes more sense when you consider that ferrule is also the term for the metal band at the end of a table leg (or similar object) that strengthens it or prevents it from splitting.

words for things you didnt know have names aglet

Definition:

aglet : the tag covering the ends of a lace or point - e.g., the reinforcement at the end of a shoelace

Example Sentence:

Blasphemy, says Roland Herlory, chief executive officer of Vilebrequin, the French brand that sells a thousand-dollar hand-embroidered swim trunk with no-stitch hypoallergenic lining and zinc aglets.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada), 11 Mar. 2017

Origin:

Aglet indirectly comes from the Latin acus, "needle" - as does the word acute.

words for things you didnt know have names punt

Definition:

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

Example Sentence:

The punt lives on as a custom, but it does add strength to the structure of bottles, particularly those used for sparkling wine, which are under great internal pressure from the carbonization.
— Eric Asimov, The New York Times, 6 Jan. 2022

Note:

Although it remains a matter of debate, explanations for the function of the punt include strengthening the bottle and also reducing its holding capacity.

The alternative name for the punt is kick.

words for things you didnt know have names lunule

Definition:

lunule : a crescent-shaped body part or marking (such as the whitish mark at the base of a fingernail)

Example Sentence:

His thumbs were in the images and what was really interesting was that he had a defect in the little half moon area - the lunule- you have at the base of your thumb nail.
Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scot.), 27 Feb. 2022

Origin:

This mark got its name because of its shape: lunule comes from the Latin luna, meaning "moon."

words for things you didnt know have names tittle

Definition:

tittle : the dot over i or j

Example Sentence:

The description of the mark registered is "The mark consists of the word "KISSY" in lowercase white letters with the tittle over the letter "I" in the shape of a white heart.
— US Fed News Service_ (Washington, D.C.), 16 Jul. 2022

Origin:

Tittle comes from the Latin titulus, which originally meant "title." Titulus came to refer to marks such as the abbreviated form of n written over a vowel (like the Spanish tilde, which indirectly got its name from titulus), and then to any mark above a letter.

words for things you didnt know have names glabella

Definition:

glabella : the smooth prominence of the forehead between the eyebrows

Example Sentence:

For deep glabella lines, advanced cosmetic doctor Sarah Tonks says that while fillers can be used, because the blood vessels in this part of the face are small, if you block them there's a high risk of necrosis.
— Edwina Ings-Chambers, Daily Mail (London, Eng.), 4 Jun. 2022

Origin:

Glabella derives from the Latin glaber, "bald" or "smooth."

words for things you didnt know have names muntin

Definition:

muntin : a strip separating panes of glass in a window sash

Example Sentence:

The living room ends in a bump-out with windows overlooking the street, a grouping of three muntin-less ones flanked by single windows.
Boston Globe, May 15, 2022

Origin:

Named for the way it sticks up from the window, muntin comes from the French monter, "to rise."

words for things you didnt know have names

Definition:

lemniscate : the infinity symbol (or more precisely, "a figure-eight shaped curve whose equation in polar coordinates is ρ2=a2 cos 2θ or ρ2=a2 sin 2θ")

Example Sentence:

It has a bespoke alloy wheel introduced in Black Badge house style with carbon fibre barrel. The Infinity lemniscate symbol continues to codify noir expressions of Rolls-Royce.
The Economic Times (New Delhi, India), 23 Apr. 2022

Origin:

Lemniscate comes from a Latin word that means "with hanging ribbons" - an origin that's reflected in the symbol's graceful shape.

words for things you didnt know have names fourchette

Definition:

fourchette : the strip or shaped piece used for the sides of the fingers of a glove

Example Sentence:

The Swede’s lament that all the people in the American glove trade were now importers “who don’t know a fourchette from a thumb.”
— Paul Daley, The Guardian (London, Eng.), 10 Apr. 2020

Origin:

The French word fourchette (pronounced "foor-SHET") means "fork." It was applied to this item presumably because of the forking pattern of the fingers.

image388235046

Featuring sword dances, frog-tossing, and the letter 'M'
SEE THE LIST >

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!