This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Monday, 9 April 2018

Spot the Frippet: uvula.

My primary school headmaster was very keen on clear diction. He didn't mind our accents (which were either Deepest London or Rather Rural) but he hated mumbling.

I MUST OPEN BY BIG FAT MOUTH, we used to have to recite in chorus, 

AND SHOW MY BIG FAT TONGUE
AND MY BIG FAT TEETH 
AND THE LITTLE WIGGLY THING 
THAT HANGS DOWN AT THE BACK.

The little wiggly thing that hangs down at the back is called, more scientifically, the uvula

There are photographs of it on wikimedia commons, but they are, frankly, too disgusting for a Monday morning. Or, indeed, a Sunday evening. Or any point in between.

You may be congratulating yourself on already knowing about your uvula, but did you know you also have an uvula in your brain? It's right in the middle:

Gray703.png

illustration by Henry Vandyke Carter from Gray's Anatomy.

You've got one in your bladder, too.

However interesting this is, for spotting purposes we are going to have to rely on the uvula in the throat (the palatine uvula, it's called).

What other animals have an uvula

Well, some baboons have a very small one, apparently. And that seems to be it.

There. 

You always knew humans were special at something, didn't you?

Spot the Frippet: uvula. This word means little grape in Latin. It comes from ūva, a grape.


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