This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 2 September 2013

Spot the frippet: culet.

Here's a word for something that's never very far away from me, but which I've never noticed before. I'm pretty sure this is because I didn't know its name.


(You say it CUE-lit.)

The culets I possess are tiny, I must admit. And they're inside a cage of platinum.

So what are culets?

A culet is the small flat surface at the bottom of a gem. It's there to make it less likely that the stone will get damaged, as it might if it got knocked on a pointy bit.

You can see a culet at the bottom of this diagram of the facets of a gem. It's worth looking the whole diagram, because the names of the facets are gorgeous.

Diamond proportions and facets, for the round brilliant cut.

Of course you may not have a diamond handy - and if you have, it may not have a culet - but there's still some faint hope of spotting one because a culet is also one of the plates on a suit of armour that cover the back from the waist downwards.

Except Yes, sorry. People in suits of armour aren't to be seen all over the place, I must admit.

It really would be easier to talk nicely to a married or engaged lady, wouldn't it. Or have a look in a jewellery shop.

Anyway, there we are. Two culets linked by...

Spot the frippet: culet. This word comes from the French cul, from the Latin cūlus, which are both slightly rude words for bottom.


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