Monday, 1 October 2012
Spot the frippet: umbo.
No, really, this is easy.
An umbo can be the small hump you find in the middle of the cap of a mushroom or toadstool:
Or, if you're living in a fungus-free zone, then an umbo is also the bulgiest bit of a two-part shellfish.
Photo Féron Benjamin
It's also part of the ear drum, but I agree that's not easy to spot unless you happen to have a medical scanner handy. Or a severed head.
For those of us with either a museum habit or a time machine, then you can always go for the sort of umbo that's the boss in the centre of a shield, especially a Saxon one:
So there we are: umbones (look at that gorgeous plural! You say it um-bone-eez. Or, if you're dull, you can use the alternative plural form umboes) all over the place.
However did we manage without the word before?
Word To Use Today: umbo. This word is Latin and means either projecting bit, or the boss of a shield.