Monday, July 30, 2007

Jimi Hendrix could have sung "Vulpine Lady!"

In a New Yorker story about a counseling program for desperately poor teenage mothers in the bayou country of Louisiana, Katherine Boo describes one girl as "having a lisp, with straight bangs that tend to hang over her vulpine face."

The word vulpine (VUHL-pine) comes from the Latin vulpinus, meaning fox, and, reasonably enough, means 1: "of, relating to, or resembling a fox 2: foxy, crafty.

Strangely, the dictionary says vulpinus is "akin"to the Greek word for fox, alopex, which comes down to us as the word alopecia, for loss of hair, wool or feathers: baldness.

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