Thursday, April 24, 2008

A dapper word -- sartorial


sartorial (sar-TOR-ee-uhl) adjective
Related to a tailor or tailored clothes. [From Late Latin sartor, tailor.]

Today's word has a cousin, sartorius, a long narrow muscle in the leg, the longest muscle in humans. What would tailored clothes have in common with a muscle of the leg? Sartorius is so named since it is concerned with producing the cross-legged position of tailors at work.

"The dignified Muganda man will appear at formal occasions dressed in a kanzu, the long, white robe introduced by the Arabs at about the same time the European missionaries were arriving with their own sartorial ideas."
-- John Matshikiza; Uganda Lives With The Old And New; The Daily Mail & Guardian (South Africa); Apr 7, 2000.

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