This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 13 April 2012

Word To Use Today: emunctory.

I've only just discovered this word, and I fell in love at first sight.

Okay it's not tall, dark or handsome - or even rich - but, I don't know, the heart has its reasons...I think that in this case they might be that emunctory sounds both loveably daft and staggeringly clever at the same time.


As if the mere sound of it isn't enough, emunctory is a word I've been needing all my life without knowing it.

It means to do with nose-blowing.

How have I survived without a word meaning to do with nose-blowing? (I wonder, reaching in my pocket for an emunctory tissue).


...oh, there's nearly always a but, isn't there. 

You know how it is with love at first sight. Sooner or later you see the guy eating cereal, and everything just goes pfft!

It was only a few minutes into my relationship with emunctory that I discovered that it isn't just to do with nose-blowing. It's to do with any bodily organ or duct that has...oh excretory function.

Well, that's to do with crying, then. Well, that's romantic.

And sweating. Hmmmm... 

And poo, and wee, and earwax...

Ah well.

Another romance bites the dust...

Word To Use Today: emunctory. This word comes from the Latin word ēmunctōrium, from ēmungere, to wipe clean.


  1. Never heard the word and unlike you I disliked it on sight. There's clearly a reason why it's so unknown, isn't there? It's horrible Sounds as horrible as its meaning. I will ESCHEW it. Now that's a word I really do like!