This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 5 September 2016

Spot the Frippet: inion.

English may be the biggest language in the world but we're still missing an awful lot of words.

What's the English for the back of the knee?

For a mouth-watering scent?

For a piece of food stuck between the teeth?

I'm afraid I can't help you with any of those (and how impoverished our world is by their absence) but how about inion?

Yes, the word reminded me of onion, too, and in some ways it's linked in meaning because the inion the Lowestoft of the cranium, that is, basically, the bit of the head that sticks out the most at the back.

It's great fun spotting these. (It's easiest with bald people.)

Yes, that's right: there's nothing like knowing your inions.

File:Gorilla gorilla skull.jpg
Skulls of male and female gorillas. Photo by Didier Descouens

Spot the Frippet: inion. This is a word used in craniometry (the measurement of skulls. Craniometry been used over the years to prove all sorts of dodgy theories, but today is used quite respectably in archaeology and medicine). Inion is Greek for the back of the head.


  1. The anatomical term for the area related to the back of the knee is called the popliteal.

    1. Thank you! Now I know its name, I find it's in my Collins dictionary. I think we can also claim this one as properly English, then.
      Now all I need is some reason to tell someone about the back of my knee...