17 words for things you probably didn’t know had names

Peeled bananaAs a self-confessed word nerd, I love learning new words. Whether it’s something I read online or a sneaky (some might say lucky) move by one of my opponents on Words With Friends, I get a buzz from expanding my vocabulary with words for things I never knew had names.

Another great source for discovering new words is Pinterest, which is where I found most of these…

Actual words for everyday things

Aglet = the metal or plastic tube at each end of a shoelace

Agraffe = the wire cage that secures the cork in a bottle of bubbly

Coronis = the curved line or flourish at the end of a book or chapter

Ferrule = the metal part at the end of a pencil

Glabella = the space between your eyebrows

Grawlix = the typographical symbols used to represent a swear word, e.g. @#$%

Lacrimal caruncle = the small pink nodule in the inner corner of your eye

Lunula = the white crescent-shaped area at the base of your nails

Phloem bundles = the long stringy bits you get when peeling a banana

Phosphenes = the stars and colours you see when you rub your eyes

Pilcrow = the symbol (¶) used to mark a new paragraph or section of text

Pips = the dots on dice and dominoes; the symbols that denote suits and value of playing cards

Punt = the dimple found in the bottom of a wine bottle

Purlicue =  the space between your thumb and index finger

Throat = the thin area of a racquet handle, where it meets the head

Tittle = a small dot or mark that’s part of a letter, such as the dot above ‘i’ and ‘j’

Zarf = the cardboard sleeve on take-out coffee cups to stop you burning your fingers

Over to you

So how many of these names were new to you? Do you know any other words for things most of us probably didn’t even know had names? If so, do please share them below and help me continue to expand my lexicon 🙂

(Image: TheMetaPicture.com)

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12 comments on “17 words for things you probably didn’t know had names
  1. pat pindel says:

    can anyone name the levelling pads used at the bottom of table legs? They do have a specific name, but I have forgotten it~ and it’s driving me mad!


  2. Sarah Cowan says:

    I’m very familiar with pilcrow and tittle – which happens to be one of my favourite words (I’m a typographer).

    Loving ‘phloem bundles’. 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by Sarah & for the follow on Twitter. I imagine you come across lots of unusual terms through your job? “Phloem bundles” is certainly a weird one (perhaps I should do a follow-up post as to the words’ origins?) but I did manage to slip “phosphenes” into a conversation yesterday 🙂

      • Sarah Cowan says:

        Yes, the terminology of typography is fantastic. Much of it comes from the world of letterpress printing, which is the first time that type (rather than the handwritten or inscribed word) would have needed to be described. I have a little series of definitions which I share on Twitter – one per month, so keep your eyes peeled!

        A post on the etymology of the words would be very interesting. I’m wondering if there’s any connection between punt and the phase ‘take a punt’. Or perhaps the link is with the flat bottomed boat, instead? It must have come from somewhere! 🙂

  3. I knew 2 (hurrah!) and will be trying to work some of new ones seamlessly into my conversations!

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