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RUPESTRAL

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RUPESTRAL

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:02 am

• rupestral •


Pronunciation: ru-pes-trêl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Growing on or living among rocks.

Notes: Today's contributor proposed an obsolete synonym of today's word, rupicoline. Our word seems to be currently the more prominent. Another synonym, rupestrine, was used as late as 1999. Rupestral has only one other contemporary relative: rupestrian means "inscribed or painted on rocks", as the rupestrian artwork of the Cro-Magnons found in the caves of Lascaux, France.

In Play: We may widen the sense of "living among rocks" to include people who habitually visit them: "Andover Hand leads a rupestral life built around rock climbing." He is also interested in rupestral animals like mountain goats and picas. We can also widen the sense of rupestrian to include fake stone—concrete and cinder blocks: "Urban rupestrian art (graffiti) has progressed by leaps and bounds over the recent decades."

Word History: Our Good Word today comes from Latin rupes "cliff, crag", from ruptus "broken", the past participle of rumpere "to break". It came from the same root as English rip and rob. Apparently, the original Proto-Indo-European word meant something like "to break or chop off; to take away". A crag looks like a large rock, a part which has broken off and been taken away. "Take away" fits rob and "chop" fits rip in its original sense. The Russian word ruble is of the same provenance, probably because the original Russian coins were chopped off (rubit' in Russian) from a larger piece of silver or gold. (We should chop today's Good Word off here to thank Luke Javan, Grand Panjandrum in the Alpha Agora for suggesting it.)
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Re: RUPESTRAL

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:36 am

We frequently have driven through a good deal of Kentucky, where the limestone has been blasted away to make room for the interstates and other highways. It's always fascinating to drive between those cliffs and see shrubs, bushes, and even trees climbing out of them. Ruspestral indeed, but I knew not the word til now.
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Re: RUPESTRAL

Postby MTC » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:46 am

Nice image, Perry. Rupestral flowers and plants growing from limestone cliffs, lessons in endurance.

I think, however, Dr. G has focused on the biological meaning of rupestral which also means "composed of or inscribed on rock; 'rupestral drawings in the caves of Northern Spain' rupicolous." http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rupestral

Or "rupestral tablets," e.g. The Ten Commandments.
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Re: RUPESTRAL

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:37 pm

And I have been fascinated by rock drawings in southwestern US. I stand there and wonder who stood here before me, some kind of brush or pen in hand...
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Re: RUPESTRAL

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:58 am

"Rolling stones gather no moss."
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: RUPESTRAL

Postby MTC » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:31 pm

But then, who wants moss?
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Re: RUPESTRAL

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:29 pm

I could use some under the live oaks in my front yard.
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Re: RUPESTRAL

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:24 pm

Suppose one lived on the "Big Rock Candy" mountain? Would that be a rupestral home? See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYGCpGzFWh0
The video is from a very old film and is not very good. The voice is appropriate for the song.
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