This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Word To Use Today: orifice.

This is a word to give pleasure in every saying: orifice (you say it ORRY-fiss).

It means an opening, of course. Orifices of the body, for example, are the mouth, the nostrils others.

Back orifice is a sneaky bit of computer programing which means you can operate a computer secretly and remotely. This can be useful, obviously, but it can also be a dangerous menace and the security people hate it.

An orifice plate is a clever device which partly blocks off a pipe through which a fluid is passing. The difference in pressure as the fluid goes through the left-open bit - the orifice - tells you stuff about the flow rate.

Or so they tell me - though that sort of stuff goes in one orifice and out the other, I'm afraid.

Word To Use Today: orifice. This is too wonderful a word not to be used as often as possible, and there are orifices everywhere. Think of nesting boxes and post boxes and washing machines, for a start.

Do explore one today.

The word orifice comes from the Late Latin ōrificium, and before that from the Latin ōs, mouth, and facere, to make.

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