Daily Archives: March 27, 2009

tentiginous

Aren’t you itching to know what this word means? Does it keep you on tenterhooks? Does it perhaps signify a genius in a tent? Someone who is an indigenous ten? Tense? Feeling an igneous twinge, at least a tinge? All gin and tentacles, tentatively touching us? The options may be a bit vertiginous. And pardon me if I seem a touch tendentious, but I want to cross the t‘s and dot the i‘s… and round the n‘s, I guess. This word seems to want two: it has two each of t, n, and i, and when you take those out you’re left with ego leading into us. So what does ego want of us? Well, like this word, it wants two. Boy, does it ever want to! It is seized with a fit of cupidity – of tentigo, an equally disused word, meaning “priapism” or simply whatever kind of “lust,” from the identical Latin word. And when you have tentigo, you tend to go… but isn’t it so much better than lentigo, even if it, too, means showing your true spots?

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