Word to Your Motha: Lunulate
A lovely word, lunulate. It’s fun to say and fun to use in a sentence. It’s an adjective, which I love because I think that makes it even harder for the person to whom you’re speaking to discern the meaning even with context clues (remember that phrase from 6th grade English class?)
Lunulate – adj. 1. Having lunular markings. 2. Crescent-shaped.
Today I’m gonna give you two for the price of one because the second word is related and because I really like the definition of the second word.
Lunula – n. Somthing shaped like a narrow crescent as the small, white area at the base of the human fingernail.
That just may be the only way one might be able to use the word – to describe a human fingernail. But I’m okay with that. I think it’s great to have words in the English language that can only be used in one instance. I mean, multipurpose words are overrated.
I picked lunulate to share today because I think it’s particularly useful to those of you with small children. I know the race is on to prove how special and gifted your baby is at just 9 months. I mean by now if they’re not playing Chopin or speaking five languages in addition to the native one they are struggling to grasp, you’ve already ruined your child. But here’s a way to compensate.
You can teach your baby an extensive and esoteric vocabulary so that he or she can appear to have a far superior intelligence than their little baby peers. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it, appearances? Allow me to help.
Use in a sentence: “No, no Timmy the lunulate shape doesn’t go in the square slot. It goes in the crescent-shaped slot,” said the anxious mother to her young son. “Yes, that’s it. Match the lunulate shape with the lunulate cut-out on the toy cube.”
“Dah!” Timmy squeals, banging the little plastic crescent moon on the yellow shape-sorter cube.
“No, Timmy, no! Not the goddamn circle. That’s a circle. Any idiot can see a lunulate shape doesn’t fit into a circle.”
Timmy looks up, lips quivering and lifts the plastic piece to his mouth to gnaw on it for a while.
“Look,” the mom says in a soothing tone, “see the lunula on my fingernail. That’s the shape you want to want to put your little toy into. Just like the lunula on my fingernail.”
Timmy takes the shape from his mouth and with drool dripping down the sides once again attempts to place it into one of the perplexing slots on the cube as a very tall woman with a furrowed brow instructs him in a foreign language. And once again he miscalculates.
“Oh, for Christ sake, Timmy. You’re hopeless.”*
I sincerely hope the lesson goes better for you when you’re teaching your little one all about colors and numbers and shapes because just think how popular you’ll be at the next Mommies & Me playdate when your little darling chastises the dumb baby next to her for not knowing the difference between a lunulate shape and a triangle.
If I have inspired or disturbed you in any way, please vote.