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This week we look at words of the senses, beginning with an insulting one.

hircine – smelling like a goat
Hircine can also mean just "like a goat", but it pertains primarily to smell. A word for "like a goat", without that smell connotation, is caprine.
    It is now four weeks since a razor came in contact with my chin. All my companions are equally hircine; or, if you please, hirsute.
    – John Audubon, naturalist, quoted in Duff Hart-Davis, Audubon's Elephant
Bonus word:
hirsute
– covered with abundant hair
 
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treacly – cloyingly sweet
    [Jean] Kerr was an essayist and hugely successful Broadway playwright … however, she may be best known as the Doris Day character in the treacly 1960 film version of Please Don't Eat the Daisies, which … morphs her into a home remodeling-obsessed, suburban stay-at-home mom.
    – Elizabeth Austin, Washington Monthly, March, 2003
 
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empyreumatic – smelling like burnt flesh
alliaceous – smelling (or tasting) like garlic or onions
    … there's a $6 billion industry centering around about 1,000 different fragrances, according to statistics … We'd suggest avoiding alliaceous, empyreumatic and particularly hircine scents when shopping for that special someone.
    – (Colorado Springs) Gazette, Dec. 10, 2002
 
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The theme brings to mind a word with great potential to be misunderstood -- "vomeronasal."

Extra credit for knowing the relation to "bromine."


RJA
 
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quote:
Extra credit for knowing the relation to "bromine."
Well, I know that "bromine" comes from the Greek bromos, "stench". I suppose you could say that bromine gets up your vomeronasal area.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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toothsome1. temptingly tasty to the mouth 2. attractive, alluring (esp., sexually appealing to the eye)
    [T]he lesbian trio Fruit from Adelaide, Australia, have [sic] been inaccurately compared to the Indigo Girls for their meticulous harmonies. … The three trade off on songwriting and lead vocal duties for a toothsome permutation of styles.
    – The Advocate, August 30, 2005
sialagogue – something that promotes flow of saliva
In other words, it makes the mouth water. Obviously suitable for figurative use.
The word combines a Greek root (for 'saliva') with a Latin one.
 
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"Sialalogue" recalls prior discussions of hybrid Greek/Latin compound words, like astronaut, automobile, carbohydrate, horticulture, television...


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Note carefully that the fourth letter of today's word is an m, not an n.

formication – the feeling of ants or other insects crawling over one's skin
[Latin formicare 'crawl like an ant']

I cannot give you a suitable quotation, but the following Ogden Nash poem may reinforce the connection between formi- and ants.
    The ant has made himself illustrious
    Through constant industry industrious.
    So what?
    Would you be calm and placid
    If you were full of formic acid?
 
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How about this one from John Irving via a couple of minutes googling...

quote:

It was deeply disconcerting to Patrick that Dr. Zajac--specifically, his face--smelled of sex. This evidence of a private life was not what Wallingford wanted to know about his hand surgeon, even while Zajac was reassuring him that there was nothing wrong with the sensations he was experiencing in the stump of his left forearm.

It turned out there was a word for the feeling that small, unseen insects were crawling over or under his skin. "Formication," Dr. Zajac said.

Naturally Wallingford misheard him. "Excuse me?" he asked.

"It means 'tactile hallucination.' Formication," the doctor repeated, "with an m."

"Oh."


The Fourth Hand, John Irving
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
Note carefully that the fourth letter of today's word is an m, not an n.

formication – the feeling of ants or other insects crawling over one's skin
[Latin formicare 'crawl like an ant']


An old quotation of 1859 is that of Octave Landry's (1826-1865) celebrated report of ascending paralysis [ a type of inflammatory polyneuritis now often called Guillain-Barré syndrome] in a 43 year old paver in 1859 . After premonitory fever, malaise and pain in the limbs he developed :
" weakness, formications in the tips of his fingers and toes”, and only in the third week developed paralysis of the limbs, fever, difficulty in breathing, speaking and chewing and swallowing. "

The word formication is still in medical use, and the sensation of burning, tingling and crawling may be felt inside as well as on the skin.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
So what?
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?


Sorry to be lavatorial, BUT:

The ant has got a painful rear:
Burning, tingling its bottom sear,
Formication comes to mind,
Formic acid up his behind.
 
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