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#198491 - 03/24/11 03:27 PM lapidary  
Joined: Mar 2008
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Bill Palmer Offline
stranger
Bill Palmer  Offline
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One of my close friends when I was a teenager was a gentleman who repaired jewelry and watches. His father had been a jeweler and was a lapidary.

He told me that when he was in the first grade, there was a test that contained the following question:

How many legs does a lapidary have?

He was the only kid in his class who did not answer "four."

#198513 - 03/26/11 07:15 AM Re: lapidary [Re: Bill Palmer]  
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Zed Offline
Pooh-Bah
Zed  Offline
Pooh-Bah

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British Columbia, Canada
First thought: Ha!
Second thought: Grade one!!! Standards were high - or the teacher had a twisted sense of humor.

#198514 - 03/26/11 01:51 PM Re: lapidary [Re: Zed]  
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BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel
BranShea  Offline
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Netherlands, the Hague
One step from lapidary father to mother-of-pearl and the word is a little bit odd. I looked at the online etymology:
mother of pearl

1510, translating M.L. mater perlarum, with the first element perhaps connected in popular imagination with obsolete mother
a thick substance concreting in liquors; the lees or scum concreted" [Johnson], which is from the root of mud.

I really don't know how to read this line.

(it ís the shiny surface of the inside of oysters and shells, isn't it?)

#198516 - 03/26/11 03:04 PM Re: lapidary [Re: BranShea]  
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LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel
LukeJavan8  Offline
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Land of the Flat Water
I stand to be corrected and have not looked it up before
posting like I suppose I should, but I thought that was
nacre.


----please, draw me a sheep----
#198517 - 03/26/11 03:30 PM Re: lapidary [Re: BranShea]  
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tsuwm Offline
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tsuwm  Offline
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this too shall pass
mother-of-pearl
The pearly internal layer of certain mollusk shells, used to make decorative objects. Also called nacre. - AHD4

#198518 - 03/26/11 07:25 PM Re: lapidary [Re: tsuwm]  
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BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel
BranShea  Offline
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Netherlands, the Hague
Yes, I looked up that word too, before I went to the etymology, but what puzzles me in the word is why mom in involved in this.

#198519 - 03/26/11 11:29 PM Re: lapidary [Re: BranShea]  
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Faldage Offline
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Faldage  Offline
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Originally Posted By: BranShea
One step from lapidary father to mother-of-pearl and the word is a little bit odd. I looked at the online etymology:
mother of pearl

1510, translating M.L. mater perlarum, with the first element perhaps connected in popular imagination with obsolete mother
a thick substance concreting in liquors; the lees or scum concreted" [Johnson], which is from the root of mud.

I really don't know how to read this line.

(it ís the shiny surface of the inside of oysters and shells, isn't it?)



One possibility is that the Middle Latin mater in the mater perlarum is a corruption of Latin materia and it got folk-etymlogized to meaning mother. The nacre was assumed, just by its appearance, to be related to pearls, hence 'material of pearls'.

#198520 - 03/27/11 01:04 AM Re: lapidary [Re: Faldage]  
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Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah
Candy  Offline
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down under
In NZ the Paua shell is used for Jewellery. It is very beautiful and full of iridescent green, blue, orange, silver, purple and sometimes pink colours. The Paua has edible 'meat' which you might know by the name Abalone. The outer shell is plain ugly, underneath is the 'foot' (flesh) and you see this Haliotis iris. Lapidary workers will grind back the outer crust and the whole shell can be used for making things Jewelry Box

The interior shell of the Paua is also referred to as NACRE. And they also can produce a natural pearl.











#198522 - 03/27/11 01:47 AM Re: lapidary [Re: LukeJavan8]  
Joined: Jun 2008
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LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel
LukeJavan8  Offline
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Posts: 8,871
Land of the Flat Water
Originally Posted By: LukeJavan8
I stand to be corrected and have not looked it up before
posting like I suppose I should, but I thought that was
nacre.



I'm glad at least I was on the right track.


----please, draw me a sheep----
#198524 - 03/27/11 02:50 AM Re: lapidary [Re: Candy]  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Louisville, Kentucky
Good grief--I first read that as Halitosis iris. Phew!

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