The obscure word of the week is xiphoid

look_it_up_T httpwww.clipartpal.comclipart_pdeducationdictionary_10586.htmlThere are over a million individual words in English. Most of them are quite obscure and deserve better attention than they get. This week’s is xiphoid.

It means sword-shaped, and is an eighteenth century term from the Greek xiphoeides.

Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two) in the comments using this word.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016

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4 thoughts on “The obscure word of the week is xiphoid

  1. When I saw this, I immediately thought of “xiphoid process.” No idea why; must have seen it somewhere and it stuck. Looking that up, I find it’s a cartilaginous extension (sword-shaped, I assume) of the sternum. Interesting meaning of the word “process” here — extension, rather than method of doing something.

    1. Yes – I think it’s used anatomically in a number of ways (mastoid process for the bony lump behind the ear is another). Underscores just what a truly amazing language English is! I am pretty sure it has the largest vocabulary of any language, ever – largely because it stole most of it from all the others, but hey…

  2. I thought the same thing as Audrey, however, the xyphoid process is triangular shaped, like an arrow head. Maybe we could change the name of the sternum to xiphoid since, with a little stretching of the imagination, you could picture it “sword-shaped” and make it easier to remember – the xyphoid process is connected to the xiphoid is connected to the clavicle… 🙂

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