Friday, 5 August 2011

Word of the week #14

Normally I like to associate each new word in this feature with something which happened in the past week, but this week's selection appeared quite at random whilst I was browsing the internet and instantly became a favourite. I'm sure everyone has at some time wondered whether there were words for odd little things that usually only get described - for example, discovering that the groove between your nose and your upper lip has a specific name, the philtrum (or interdigit being the space between fingers or toes) - and this is one of those.

It's the word for something which everyone will have experienced, yet I don't recall ever hearing it called by its proper name. It's a fantastic name too. Your word of the week is...

Noun: Commonly known as stomach rumbling. The sound of gas passing through the intestine as a result of contracting muscles, causing the sound traditionally associated with hunger, but which is actually a normal part of digestion. From the Greek borborygmos, which unsurprisingly means the same thing. The plural is the no-less superb borborygmi. Pronounced as written.

Example: It was unfortunate that the arrival of the Sunday roast aroused in Horace a symphony of borborygmus just as granny was about to say grace.


No comments: