Uncommon Names Of Common Things

By Shatarupa Ganguly

October 26, 2022

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The four prongs of a fork are called tines. They are used for picking up pieces of food from the plate with ease.

TINES

PETRICHOR

The pleasant earthy smell we experience from the first rain after a long period of dry weather is called petrichor (peh-tree-kohr).

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FERRULE

The metal part at the back end of a pencil and the bristles of a paintbrush is called ferrule (feh-rool). It provides a permanent seal at the end of an object to add strength.

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DYSANIA

When you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, it’s called dysania. Doctors do not recognise it as a medical condition but believe that it can cause serious problems to your body.

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OBELUS

The division sign is also called obelus. Swiss mathematician Johann Rahn was the first to use the division symbol in his book Teutsche Algebra (German Algebra) in 1659.

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AGLET

The plastic  or metallic coating at the end of your shoelaces is called an aglet. It keeps the end threads of the shoelaces intact!

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OVERMORROW

The day after tomorrow is actually  called overmorrow. It was used in  Middle English but fell out of use, although Germans still use it as ‘übermorgen’.

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PHILTRUM

The groove between your nose and the middle of your lips is called philtrum (fil-truhm), which gives you the perfect pout. It is also called Cupid's bow as the double curve of a human upper lip resembles the bow of Cupid.

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CORNICIONE

The outer part or ring of the crust around a pizza that many people avoid is called cornicione (cor-ni-ció-ne). It is an Italian term that most traditional pizza lovers should know!

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PIPS

The bumps on the surface of a ping-pong paddle are called pips. They are the little nubs of rubber that stick out on the outside of the paddle. There are different sizes of pips, but the players prefer the shorter ones to have more control over the ball.

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OCTOTHORPE

The pound symbol in your phone is not a ‘hashtag’  but is called an octothorpe  (oc-tothor-pe).  It is said to be a made-up  word, invented  in the same laboratories where the telephone was created.

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RASCETTE

The curved lines on the inside of your wrist and just below your palms are called rascette lines or bracelet lines.

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COLUMELLA

The space between your nostrils is linked by a tissue called the columella (kol-yuh-mel-ee). Interestingly, our brain ignores the nose from our vision, as its functions don't depend on being seen.

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ACNESTIS

The spot at the centre of your upper back that is impossible to reach is called acnestis (ak-NEES-tis). The same term is used in Zoology for animals who cannot reach to scratch themselves.

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ULLAGE

The space between the cap and the liquid in a beverage bottle is called ullage (ul-uj). It is left to provide space for the expansion of the liquid so that it doesn’t burst out due to inside air pressure.

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GLABELLA

The space between your eyebrows is called a glabella. Next time you make  a face with a frown, have a look in the mirror!

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QUIDNUNC

A person who is eager to know the latest gossip and news is called a quidnunc (kwid-nuhngk). It is a Latin word used by the Roman poet Horace.

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LUNULA

The white, crescent-shaped part of the fingernail is called the lunula. It is most distinct on a person's thumb. The lunula can provide clues about a person's health – big and white ones indicate good health, whereas a lack of it may imply a vitamin deficiency or other health problems.

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PSITHURISM

Psithurism (sith-err-iz-um) is a Greek word that means the sound of wind in the trees and leaves. It is another word for 'rustling'.

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ECCEDENTESIAST

A person who fakes a smile is called an eccedentesiast (ex-cen-dent-tee-shee-ist). The term was coined by American novelist Florence King.

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