malleus = hammer

A discussion of word histories and origins.
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malleus = hammer

Postby vaibhavd85 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:34 am

Malleable (adj): able to be hammered or shaped without cracking or breaking, easily influenced, flexible, liable to change.

This word is very common to mechanical engineers jargon but the word can be used in a secondary sense also, which is: easily influenced. The word comes from the Latin root ¡§malleus¡¨ which means ¡§a hammer¡¨. The root ¡§malleus¡¨ can be traced back to another root in Proto-Indo-European language (The supposed provenance of Indian and European languages) ¡§mal-ni¡¨ which means ¡§crushing¡¨. Another word that I have seen in GRE domain also coming from the same root is the noun ¡§mallet¡¨.

Contextual example:
As aluminum is malleable it is widely used in the sheet metal industry.

Contextual example:
Minds of children are very malleable and thus proper care should be taken especially during the childhood, so that they grow up to be rational human beings.

Mallet (n): a hammer with a large wooden head, a long handled wooden stick with a head like hammer which is used for playing croquet or polo.

Contextual example:
The player was very frustrated to know that his mallet was stolen by some miscreant.

You can even remember these words in an analogy fashion
Mallet (type of hammer): Malleable (something that can be worked with hammer without breaking)

Feedback, cognates, discussion are welcome.


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Postby sluggo » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:01 am

Well you nailed that one, V :roll:
Though I wonder if this and your other recent elucidating contributions might be placed in Good Word Suggestions, it's surely not out of place here.

It has to do with hammers only figuratively, but the Malleus Maleficarum is my main memory marker for this one.

This old tagline is purely coincidental...
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!

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Grand Panjandrum
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Postby gailr » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:18 pm

sluggo wrote:It has to do with hammers only figuratively, but the Malleus Maleficarum is my main memory marker for this one.[/size]

feh. A horrible book, yet a clinically interesting window into how easily a rigid, hierarchical and superstitious mind becomes psychotic.

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