This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Monday, 26 February 2018

Spot the Frippet: something popliteal.

English is the biggest language in the world (the universe, too, possibly) but there are still lots of words that are missing from it. Tingo, for instance. In the language of Easter Island, tingo is the act of borrowing things one by one from a friend until there is nothing left.*

I do wish tingo was available for us to use in English, but I have to admit that the English language is already full of treasures, many overlooked, describing things delicate, beautiful, wondrous and priceless. 

The word popliteal, on the other hand, describes the back of the knee.

If you spend the day entirely alone, and are not a contortionist, I would recommend the services of a mirror.

Spot the Frippet: something popliteal. This word has been around in English since the 1700s, but has never really made much of a splash. It comes from the Latin popliteus, the muscle behind the knee, from poples, the inner or back part of the knee.

*Tingo is the title of a wonderful book by Adam Jacot de Boinod, which is full of such non-English treasures.

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