Tuesday, February 07, 2017


The word mantle and its many meanings came up on the program recently. It originated with the Latin word mantellum, a cloak. One way or another, the divergent meanings of mantle all include the idea of something that encloses or protects. Here’s a rundown of the meanings that are not obsolete.

·      a protective garment or blanket
·      a guise or pretense
·      a position of authority or leadership
·      in crustaceans, a layer of covering epidermal tissue
·      in birds, the plumage of the back and the folded wings
·      in mammals, the layer of striated muscle below the skin
·      the scum formed on fermenting liquids
·      the bloom of algae that forms on stagnant ponds
·      the mesh covering used to contain a flame in a propane lantern
·      the region of the earth’s interior between the crust and the core

Mantel, the piece of timber or stone supporting the masonry above a fireplace, now has a different spelling, but originally it was spelled mantle and came from the same Latin word that meant a cloak.

Finally, dismantle – to take something apart – started out meaning to strip a cloak right off a man’s back.

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Dona Sheehan's prints