Last week's theme of "Unusual names for things" ended with a word composed of two body parts, "armseye". That leads naturally into a theme of "Unusual names for body things". These may not be words you can make use of, but I hope and trust they'll be words you can enjoy.
mandible – the lower jawbone, in humans, etc.
[from Latin mandere to chew. The upper jawbone, which is immobile, is called the maxilla (from Latin diminutive mala "jaw, cheekbone).]
– Jewish news weekly of Northern California, Oct. 13, 1995 (ellipses omitted)
New jaw fossils might suggest a direct line of descent between two species of early humans, including the one to which "Lucy" belongs. [photo caption:] A complete lower jaw (mandible) of Australopithecus from a locality called Nefuraytu …
– Early-Man 'Missing Link' Possibly Found, FOXNEWS.COM, July 19, 2007
– Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Oct. 24, 1994
Well, unfortunately I couldn't get the video to work. Darn! The download seemed to be successful, but it kept asking me to do it again.
cerumen (accent on 2nd syllable) – earwax
From Latin cera wax. To help remember this word, think of the word "sincere". It's been claimed that "sincere" comes from Latin sine cera "without wax", on the notion that a "sincere" promise was one that did not need to be made under seal, and could be trusted "without [sealing] wax". As it happens, that etymology for "sincere" is completely false. Nonetheless it may help you remember that "wax" is cera in Latin, so that when you think of "earwax" you'll be led towered the sound of "cerumen".
– Science Daily, Aug. 31, 2008 (ellipses omitted)
From an article titled Play Tricks on Your Body: Use Simple Movements to Get Rid of Aches and Pains:
– ABC News, Nov. 7, 2005
[from Latin for "ploughshare", because of the shape]
septum (plural septa) – a partition separating two chambers of the body, such as that between the nostrils or the chambers of the heart
So how is the septum different from the vomer? I've only heard it called the former.
Yesterday's quote spoke about "pushing on the spot between the eyebrows with the pointer finger". You of course wonder if that spot has a name. Far be it from me to leave your wonderings unsatisfied.
glabella – the smooth area between the eyebrows just above the nose
[from Latin meaning "little smooth thing"]
In today's quote, Mencken is describing the class envy of alcohol consumption. The rural "yokel" drinks alone in his barn "in solitary swinishness", consuming rotgut whiskey, "crude and unpalatable stimulants, incompetently made". As drinks he resents "the hated city man", who partakes of "varieties that have a more delicate and romantic smack, and are ingested in gay society to the music of harps".
– H. L. Mencken, Notes on Democracy
I think the partition including soft tissue is the septum; one of the bones composing it is the vomer (which really does look like a plowshare). I think the upper part of the palatine bones also form part of the septum, if memory serves.
I was caught by this revenoo fella
Hawkin' hooch that I made in my cella.
So I shot twixt his eyes
And to my great surprise,
He survived my shot through his glabella.
Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
We noted that a septum is tissue that serves as a partition separating two chambers of the body. What is a tissue that connects tissues, to hold one in place?
frenulum; frenum – a membrane that supports or restricts the movement of a body part; a frenulum is simply a small frenum.
Examples: 1) the one connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth; 2) the one connecting the upper lip to the gum, at a spot above and between the upper incisors
[Latin frenum bridle, from frendere to grind]
I'm giving an innocent usage-example and a moderately sexual one (ellipses omitted). But the vast majority of non-technical usage-examples are much more hardcore. They concern a frenulum of the male anatomy (or the equivalent female part) which I'll delicately leave unspecified, referring you to Glossary of the Penis. (Who knew that all those parts have names too?!)
– LaVyrle Spencer, Spring Fancy
James gazed upon [the butterfly] with mounting excitement. Then, fetching his enlarging glass, he examined it minutely. What was this? Impossible! Something never heard of before in the annals of lepidoptery! This butterfly appeared to own that attribute which hitherto he had supposed to belong solely to the moth … a frenulum! Yes; there, at the base of the hindwing, were those unmistakable bristles which in flight would be gripped beneath the forewing by a membranous hook; a hook and eye, in fact, devised by nature. The flight of both butterflies and moths depended upon hindwing and forewing closing together to act as one. In butterflies–all butterflies save this one, it would seem–this was achieved by a generous overlapping. Moths, on the other hand, were equipped with the frenulum to provide the same result. The existence of a frenulum, therefore, had always–until now–provided part of the definition of a moth.
. . .Until now … For–James almost trembled as he realized this–it was not solely a new species; it was a butterfly which might provide a connecting link between every butterfly and every moth.
– Barbara Ker Wilson, The Lost Years of Jane Austen
canthus – either of the corners of the eye, where the upper and lower eyelids meet
[Greek kanthos corner of the eye; akin to cant – slanted; tilting]
– Andrew Sean Greer, The Confessions of Max Tivoli
...which is why we refer to the epicanthic fold.
Think of your outer ear, the part outside your skull.
auricle – the lower part of the outer ear; the earlobe
pinna – the upper part of the outer ear, stiff with cartilage; the "earshell" (plural pinnae)*
Not exactly everyday terms. But OED has a delicious quote as the earliest use of the "earlobe" word. The author seems to be speaking of fashions, not of anthropology.
– John Bulwer, Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform'd, or The Articificiall Changling [etc.] (1653)
*Note: dictionary-definitions are inconsistent. Some (most?) say one or both terms mean the entire outer ear (upper and lower parts); some add that they used to mean the separate parts; some mention upper and lower but don't say "above or below what".