This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

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.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea!! I am really going to use that word all over the place!! What a treat....I like UM BONE EEZ and will always use that lovely plural.