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Monday 18 January 2016

Spot the Frippet: something gibbous.

There'll be a gibbous moon tonight (that's one that's more than half visible but less than completely full), though it may be that in your part of the world the moon will rise at a silly time - like nine o'clock in the morning - and you won't get to see it.

So what else is gibbous?

Well, gibbous was originally to do with hunchbacks. Unfortunately we're about seventy million years too late to see this creature:

Life restoration

which was called Deinocheirus and was quite easy to see, being as much as three point four metres tall and twelve tonnes in weight (did I say unfortunately seventy years too late?).

But we still have the beautiful camel:

File:Camel carrying hay Pakistan.jpg
Photo by Bart de Goeij ( that really a camel, or actually a close-up of an undercover llama?)

We are also surrounded by beetles, including the lovely ladybird:


Photo by Zachi Evenor

A production of Rigoletto will also provide a hunchback:

File:Francisco D'Andrade as Rigoletto by Julius Cornelius Schaarwächter.jpg

though happily as medicine advances in real life human hunchbacks are becoming rarer.

Lastly, and easily easiest to spot, anything bulging can be called gibbous: and while hunchbacks are becoming rarer, bulges in other directions are burgeoning.

Here's rather an old one, shining, appropriately, like a setting moon:

File:Buffon 1707-1788.jpg
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, by François Hubert Drouais.

Spot the Frippet: something gibbous. This word comes from the Latin gibbōsus, humpbacked, from gibba, a hump.

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