Thursday, September 06, 2007

An Old Wrinkle

Monday, September 10, 2007

We named our Neapolitan mastiff Rosa Rugosa for a couple of reasons. A look at her photo above will show why we chose the Latin word rugosa, which means wrinkled. By word association, my wife immediately thought of the shrub rose known as rosa rugosa. On the spot, that became Rosie's formal name.

Anyway, I have been musing over the word wrinkled. It comes from an Old English verb meaning to crease, and it is a descendant of an assumed Indo-European form meaning to twist or turn. It is cousin to wrestle, writhe, vertebra, weird, wrong, and rhapsody.

We still use the words corrugate, rugate, and rugose, which all mean wrinkled, but it’s amusing to discover some of the synonyms that did not pass the test of time:

• cockling
• crimpled
• hirpled
• plighty
• rimpled
• rivelled
• runkled
• ruscled
• snurped
• wrimpled
• writhled
• yfrounct

I don’t know whether it was because of the condition of clothing before the invention of irons or because of weather-beaten faces, but our ancestors certainly had a fixation on wrinkles.

SIDEBAR: wrinkle creams

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