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Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
Carpal Tunnel
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Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
To know what a labret is?

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,773
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,773
Ummmm ... eighty? Or maybe you are thinking about a definition not included in the usual dictionaries? My Webster's has the same definition as onelook's from 1913 -- a piece of wood, shell, stone or other substance worn in a perforation of the lip or cheek -- but onelook comments that the definition might be outdated. (Ah - I see that Encarta says that the term is from the mid-19th century, from the Latin labrum for "lip", so if you know anybody who is 150 years old ...)

As to onelook's concern, I'm guessing that the term is not outdated, with the current popularity of piercings.

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
Carpal Tunnel
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
here are the onliest citations in OED2; but then they're a long ways from coming back around to the Ls:

1857 A. ARMSTRONG N.W. Passage vii. 193 In the Esquimaux..we observed the lower lip perforated in the males, for the admission of labrets or lip ornaments. 1872 R. F. BURTON Zanzibar I. iv. 113 As a rule, the South American ‘Indians’ pierce for their labrets the lower lip. 1884 J. G. BOURKE Snake Dance of Moquis xxii. 243 They do not tattoo, do not use nose-rings or labrets.

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