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Dec 28, 2016This week’s theme
This week’s words
Photo: Josean Prado
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
1. The ridge patterns of skin on the inner surface of the hands and feet.
2. The scientific study of these skin patterns.
It is one of the longest words with no repeated letters. Can you find another one of the same length? Here’s a hint: you can’t copyright it. It’s ‘uncopyrightable’.
Coined in 1926 by Dr Harold Cummins (1893-1976) from Greek dermato- (skin) + glyphein (to carve). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gleubh- (to tear apart), which is also the source of cleave, glyph, clever, and clove (garlic). And that’s also where we get cleavage, cleft palate, and cloven hooves. Earliest documented use: 1926.
“Finger patterns can show the presence of inherited diseases. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about dermatoglyphics.”
Jessica Matthews; Maverick in the ER; Harlequin; 2011.
See more usage examples of dermatoglyphic in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly. -Rose Franken, author and playwright (28 Dec 1895-1988)
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