This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sunday Rest: Word Not To Use Today: squamous.


(It rhymes with famous, for those in doubt.)

I mean, eu!

Squamous means covered with, formed of, or looking like scales. It's mostly used to describe cells on the surfaces of animals' insides.

Even lovely things can be described as squamous:

Eastern Box Turtle  Terrapene carolina
This is an Eastern Box Turtle.

File:Coat of Pangolin scales.JPG
This is a coat made of scales from pangolins*. It was made in India and was a present to King George the Third of England. (The mad one.) Photo by Gaius Cornelius.

Figure 012.
The scaly stems of Amanita phalloides. From The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise by M E Hard.

But however lovely these things are, squamous manages to make them sound about as cuddly as a cat's curse.

You know, I think I might start a no-use-of-the-word-squamous-on-a-day-which-ends-in-a-y campaign.

Word Not To Use Today: squamous. This word comes from the Latin word squāmōsus, from squāma, a scale.

*This is a pangolin:

File:Pangolin Mivart.png
Illustration by St George Mivert.