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Macrocephaly

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Macrocephaly

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:26 pm

• macrocephaly •


Pronunciation: mæ-krê-se-fê-li • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: Big-headedness, the state of having an unusually large head.

Notes: Today's Good Word is another we hope to drag out of the recondite recesses of medical terminology. It should not be confused with megalocephaly or megacephaly which are often accompanied by developmental mental problems. Macrocephaly refers to a head that is statistically larger than others. You may choose between two adjectives: macrocephalic or macrocephalous.

In Play: You have probably already guessed where we are going with today's Good Word: "Gloria's big raise and promotion seem to have given her a bad case of macrocephaly; she seldom talks to me any more." Now you can speak about the people with swollen heads you know in a way they won't understand—they may even think you're complimenting them: "Phil Anders comes on to every woman in the office, but none are impressed with his macrocephalous stories about himself."

Word History: When we take apart today's Good Word we find Greek makros "large" + kephale "head" plus a common English suffix, -y. Makros comes from a Proto-Indo-European root that originally meant "long, slender", which explains how it came to English as meager, borrowed from French maigre "skinny", which was inherited from Latin macer "thin". The same root that developed into Greek kephale came to English as gable, probably borrowed from Old Norse gafl with the same meaning.
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Re: Macrocephaly

Postby Slava » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:37 am

Rather interesting the winding paths etymology can take, no? The word for large becomes a word for skinny. Of course!

Let's not ignore the possibility of using the antonym here. Microcephalous could serve well in many situations.
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Re: Macrocephaly

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:15 pm

Jay Leno has macrocephaly. Nothing, however, could cause him to exhibit big headedness. We are going to miss him. This may be the death knell for late night TV. Doofey Guy, the one who is to replace him, is cutesy but he doesn't have it all together like Leno does. This is a bold statement for me to make about entertainment. I do not usually express opinions in this field.
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Re: Macrocephaly

Postby misterdoe » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:17 pm

"Doofey Guy" made me think of Guy Smiley, the game show host Muppet from Sesame Street. :) And yeah, Jay does have a big ol' noggin. :? So do I... :oops:
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