48 Things You Didn't Know Had Names

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So that's what it's called! It turns out that thingy, that doohickey, that stuff, and that space between those two things probably all have names you didn't know.

1. Glabella

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The space between your eyebrows is a glabella. That's also the name of the bone underneath that space that connects your brow ridges.

2. petrichor

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Do you love the smell of rain? That clean, greenish aroma when rain drops hit dry ground? That's petrichor from the Greek Petra, meaning stone, and ichor, meaning the blood of the gods and goddesses. The term was coined by two Australian researchers in 1964 but became better known in 2011, when it popped up in an episode of Doctor Who.

3. paresthesia

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Pins and needles. Crawling skin. The tingling sensation you get when your foot's asleep is known as paresthesia (you knew it had to have a -thesia in it) and there are dozens of causes.

4. Dysania

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Dysania means having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning‚ and not just in the way that makes you want to crawl back under the covers. Though it's not officially recognized as a medical condition, and can impact people's lives in a variety of negative ways.

5. Griffonage

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Illegible handwriting is called griffonage. (Take note, doctors.)

6. Acnestis

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The unreachable spot between your shoulder blades is your acnestis. Next time you can't reach an itch, ask a loved one to scratch your acnestis and see what they say.

7. Palindromes

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You probably know that a palindrome is a word or phrase that reads the same way forward as it does backward. Like Mom or racecar or taco cat. There are whole books dedicated to these bad boys.

8. semordnilap

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You might be familiar with palindromes, but you're probably less familiar with semordnilaps: a word that means one thing forward and another backward. Like stressed and desserts. Other examples include diaper/repaid, parts/strap and, of course, semordnilap itself read backward spells palindrome!

9. Aphthongs

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Silent letters, like in knight, fight, or Django, are aphthongs. This might be something that you already knew. (See what we did there?)

10. Lawn mullet

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If you only clean up your front lawn you might have a lawn mullet. Picture it: A neatly manicured front lawn and an overgrown mess in the back.

11. Googleganger

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The person with your name who shows up in your Google search results is your Googleganger. Try not to be too annoyed that there's someone more internet famous than you. Instead, reach out politely to potentially gain a super surreal pen pal.

12. Aglets

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The bits at the ends of shoelaces are called aglets.

13. Ferrule

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The bit at the end of the pencil that holds the eraser in place is a ferrule—though it's not just for pencils. Ferrules are any thin bracelet that fastens or reinforces a tube or pole that might split.

14. Zugzwang

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When every move you can make in chess hurts you, you're in zugzwang. Which by the way, sometimes also happens when you're playing Connect Four. And in real life.

15. Scroop

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Scroop is the swooshy sound ballgowns make. More generally, it's the sound produced by the movement of silk.

16. Tittle

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That thing you use to dot a lower case i is called a tittle.

17. Pizza saver

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The tiny plastic table protecting your pizza is a pizza saver. It was patented in 1983 by Carmela Vitale and has protected countless pizzas from being marred by sagging cardboard.

18. Kummerspeck

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Kummerspeck is the excess weight you gain from emotional eating. Its literal translation? Grief bacon.

19. Crapulous

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The uncomfortable feeling you get from overindulging? Crapulous. Though it sounds like a word invented by a middle-schooler in the 1990s, crapulous dates back to the 1530s when it was used to describe that gross nauseated feeling that you get from drinking too much.

20. Caruncule

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The triangular bump on the inside corner of your eye is the caruncule. It's just skin covering sweat glands, which is why it, too, can get itchy.

21. Philtrum

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The fold of skin between your nose and upper lip is the philtrum. It's also called the medial cleft, but it comes from the ancient Greek for love charm.

22. Niddick

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The technical term for the nape of your neck is the niddick. If you're keeping score, niddick has two tittles.

23. Rhinotillexomania

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Obsessive nose-picking is called rhinotillexomania. How much counts as obsessive? We'll leave that up to you to decide.

24. Peladophobia

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Peladophobia is the fear of bald people. It's also the fear of becoming bald, which means it's most frequently suffered by balding people who are turning into the thing they fear the most.

25. Pentheraphobia

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Pentheraphobia is the fear of your mother-in-law. And soceraphobia is the fear of your father-in-law.

26. Arachibutyrophobia

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Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. It's most likely related to pseudodysphagia, the fear of choking, so it's not as silly as it sounds. However, there's no known word for the fear of being forced to say arachibutyrophobia while peanut butter is stuck to the roof of your mouth.

27. Scandiknavery

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Scandiknavery means deceit by Scandinavians. Like so many 20th century words, we have James Joyce to thank for that one. And of course, deceitful Scandinavians.

28. Punt

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The indent on the bottom of a wine bottle is called a punt. As in: When it's fourth down with 20 yards to go, you should get a big bottle of wine.

29. Agraffe

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An agraffe is the wire cage that keeps a cork in a bottle of champagne. It's also called a muselet, which is apparently not a tiny muse.

30. Barm

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Beer foam is called barm. It's a byproduct of the yeast hitting the buffet in your beer, and, yes, you can make really good bread from it.

31. The zings

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Another name for a hangover is the zings. Encounter too many punts, agraffes, and barms in one night and you'll have the zings, which seems a rather peppy name for a hangover.

32. Zarf

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The cardboard sleeve around your coffee is a zarf. Traditionally it's the decorative metal holder that comes around a lot of beverage-holders, but modern users have ported it over to the recyclable ring around your to-go coffee cup.

33. grawlix

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The string of symbols comic strips use for profanity is called a grawlix. *#%* yeah it is!

34. Contronym

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A word that can be its own antonym is called a contronym. For example, cleave can mean to sever or to cling. Off means deactivated, as in to turn off, but it also means activated as in "the alarm went off." Weather can mean to withstand or come safely through or it can mean to be worn away. If you seed your lawn, you add seeds but if you seed a tomato, you remove them.

35. Apricity

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The warmth of the sun on a cold day is apricity. It's out of use, but the only thing it needs to come back into use is for people like us to use it.

36. biblioklept

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A book thief is a biblioklept. But saying "book thief" saves you some time and syllables.

37. quincunx

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The five dot pattern found on dice is a quincunx. Thomas Edison had the five dots tattooed on his left forearm.

38. vorfreude

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Vorfreude is the joy you feel thinking about good things that will happen. You probably already know the meaning of schadenfreude. Vorfreude is its kinder, nicer cousin. Literally "pre-joy."

39. mononymous

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A person known by one name is mononymous. Like Adele or Voltaire or Madonna. By the way, just for the record: Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, Francois-Marie Arouet, and Madonna Louise Ciccone are their full names.

40. String

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A group of ponies is called a string. This is from James Lipton's delightful book, An Exaltation of Larks.

41. business

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An assembly of ferrets is a business.

42. smack

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A group of jellyfish is a smack (though a zap somehow seems more appropriate).

43. gam

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A group of whale is a gam of whales. A gam is also a pleasant conversation between whalers.

44. murder

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A group of crows is known as a murder. They got the name in the 15th century because of their association with death. The term is also unfair and a bit outdated; ornithologists use flock for any kind of bird grouping, including crows. Food for thought!

45. unkindness

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A group of ravens is an unkindness. People 500 years ago were really not nice to crows and ravens.

46. trip

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Three or more goats is a trip. You can also call them a herd or a tribe.

47. Parliament

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Many owls form a parliament. Another playful name from the 15th century that some birders want to get away from.

48. Pass

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A group of donkeys is a pass: A pass of asses.

Save Up to 93 Percent on 8 Gaming Accessories and Enter to Win a Free Nintendo Switch Bundle

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8 British Expressions, Explained

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The British have many delightful and colorful expressions that often make no sense to the rest of the world. Luckily, Christopher J. Moore has decoded a number of them in How to Speak Brit: The Quintessential Guide to the King's English, Cockney Slang, and Other Flummoxing British Phrases. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Load of Cobblers

This phrase, which means "a lot of rubbish or nonsense," has its origin in rhyming slang. The full phrase, Moore writes, is "a load of cobbler's awls," and awls rhymes with ... well, you can probably figure that out. So, don't use this one around anybody respectable.

2. How’s your father?

Brits are all about keeping things proper, so they’ve come up with many fantastic slang terms for referring to stuff that would be considered untoward in polite company. "How’s your father?" is one of these phrases. According to Moore, this turn of the century phrase was probably coined by comedian Harry Tate, who used it to change the subject when something he didn’t want to talk about came up. Eventually, it became slang for sexual activity.

3. All Mouth And No Trousers

Hailing from the north of England, this phrase is “used to describe a man whose sense of self-importance is in inverse proportion to his actual relevance,” Moore writes. The mouth refers to brash talk; trousers, of course, are pants.

4. Bob’s Your Uncle

It means “and there you are!” or “it’s that simple!” According to Moore, it’s thought to have originated in the late 1880s, when Arthur Balfour—nephew of the Victorian Prime Minister Robert Cecil—was appointed to be the Chief Secretary in Ireland though he had no qualifications. “So he got the job purely because Bob was his uncle,” Moore writes. “A nice theory, and no one has come up with anything convincingly better.”

5. By Hook or By Crook

“A very old phrase meaning to use any means possible and bearing no relation to criminals,” Moore writes. First used in the 14th century, it refers to peasants pulling down branches for firewood using either a bill-hook or a shepherd’s crook.

6. On the Pull

Another British slang term for something considered rude to talk about in plain terms. If you’re out at the pub and someone tells you they’re “on the pull,” it means they’re looking for someone to hook up with. Saucy!

7. Spend a Penny

This slang phrase for a visit to the bathroom “comes from the old practice, literally, of having to put a penny in the door of a public bathroom to use it,” Moore writes. It's only appropriate for informal settings, so don’t use it to ask where the restrooms are in a restaurant!

8. Sweet Fanny Adams

It means, essentially, f*** all, and though it sounds delightful, it has a dark historical origin: Fanny Adams was a real person, a child who was murdered and dismembered in 1867; she was nicknamed "Sweet Fanny Adams" during her murderer's trial and execution because of her youth and innocence. Not long after, the Royal Navy introduced tinned meat rations, which the sailors referred to as Sweet Fanny Adams, a reference to the crime. Eventually, Moore writes, “the expression spread into wider use as meaning something of little or no value, and was commonly shortened to Sweet FA. In modern usage the phrase has become crossed with another, more impolite FA, which also means ‘absolutely nothing.’”