Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 10

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at the Bermuda Onion where you "can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative!

Everything this week is from Agatha Christie's The Man in the Brown Suit (review pending but likely to be poor!) ...

"I observed with pleasure that Inspector Meadow's pen wavered. It was clear he did not know how to spell brachycephalic." 

Brachycephaly also known as flat head syndrome, is a type of cephalic disorder (well doesn't that clear it all right up!).

From Wikipedia - The cephalic index or cranial index is the ratio of the maximum width of the head of an organism multiplied by 100 divided by its maximum length (i.e., in the horizontal plane, or front to back).

The index was widely used by anthropologists in the early 20th century to categorize human populations.

I have looked at several images of human faces trying to sort this out and it just strikes me as one more ridiculous way to attempt to find ways of othering people so that you think you have an excuse to be rude to them. I am not impressed and will punt here.

"I'll be taking you on at quoits tomorrow." 

Quoits is a game that involves the throwing of metal, rope or rubber rings over a set distance, usually to land over or near a spike. On board a cruise ship it looked something like this. . .
worth noting because lots of sites have mistaken quoits for shuffleboard.

"She snubbed me severely when I let out an enthusiastic yelp at the sight of a giant blue convolvulus."

Otherwise known as bindweed, morning glory or 'that damn weed.'

Adapted from Wikipedia -
Convolvulus /kənˈvɒlvjuːləs/ is a genus of about 200 - 250 species of flowering plants in the bindweed family Convolvulaceae. Common names include bindweed and morning glory, both names shared with other closely related genera. They are annual or perennial herbaceous vines, bines and (a few species of) woody shrubs, growing to 0.3–3 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, and the flowers trumpet-shaped, mostly white or pink, but blue, violet, purple or yellow in some species.

I might have snubbed her too - morning glory might be pretty but it also strangles my roses!
From http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/eafrinet/weeds/key/weeds/Media/Html/Ipomoea_indica_%28Blue_Morning_Glory%29.htm


  1. I know quoits and convolvulus but brachycephalic is a term that I would be hard pressed to find a use. But, you never know :)

  2. Quoits appears to be a portable form of horseshoes with flying objects that are less heavy and dangerous to spectators. I think I've seen the word before but never looked it up. Thanks!

  3. I've heard of quoits but always called the game horseshoes. Very pretty blue flowers.

  4. I'm with you on brachycephaly - the definition confuses me and I don't think it's worth spending time over. Quoits reminds me of ring toss!

  5. I'm with you on brachycephaly - it sounds overly complicated and I don't think it's worth my time to try to figure it out. Quoits looks like ring toss to me.


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