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Dec 19, 2011
This week's theme
Words to describe various bodily configurations

This week's words
callipygous
prognathous
mammose
platyrrhine
lissotrichous

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

We spend billions modifying them. We want them longer, shorter, bigger, smaller, lighter, darker, pointier, or plumper. I'm talking about body parts.

These alterations can be as innocuous as clipping hair to as drastic as foot-binding. They can range from shaping belly buttons to stretching ear lobes. To each his own, but I draw the line at clipping my nails.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, we help you stretch one part of your body every day -- your mind. This week in A.Word.A.Day we'll look at five words that describe various bodily configurations.

callipygous

PRONUNCIATION:
(kal-uh-PY-guhs)

MEANING:
adjective: Having well-shaped buttocks.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek calli- (beautiful) + pyge (buttocks). Earliest documented use: 1923. Another form of this word is callipygian. Two related words are dasypygal and steatopygia.

USAGE:
"The boys knew that if they could remember the details of their school work only half as vividly as they recalled every detail of the callipygous Kathy, they would all be eligible for full college scholarships."
John H. Steinemann; Handstand; Askmar; 2010.

"'Pick me,' Aphrodite says, arching her back and turning slightly to present to him under her robe a callipygous formation more perfect than ever he has seen."
Joseph Heller; Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man; Simon & Schuster; 2000.

See more usage examples of callipygous in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. -Christopher Hitchens, author and journalist (1949-2011)

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