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Hair

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Hair

Postby scw1217 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:05 am

Haven't looked to see if this word has been covered before, but I had a good laugh this morning at the definition of hair from Thesaurus.com.

hair is any of the cylindrical filaments characteristically growing from the epidermis of a mammal


Here's the official definition:

hair
noun
1. any of the numerous fine, usually cylindrical, keratinous filaments growing from the skin of humans and animals; a pilus.
2. an aggregate of such filaments, as that covering the human head or forming the coat of most mammals.
3. a similar fine, filamentous outgrowth from the body of insects, spiders, etc.
4. Botany . a filamentous outgrowth of the epidermis.
5. cloth made of hair from animals, as camel and alpaca.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English heer, Old English hǣr (cognate with Dutch, German haar, Old Norse hār ), with vowel perhaps from Middle English haire hair shirt < Old French < Old High German hāria (cognate with Middle English here, Old English hǣre, Old Norse hǣra )
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.
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Re: Hair

Postby Slava » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:37 pm

I recall that, pre-downgrade, the Good Doctor had responded and said there wasn't really enough to hair for him to work with. I wonder what became of that post.

I also remember asking once upon a time what the difference between hair and fur was. Most people responded that there was none. Now I read in The New Yorker magazine that there is, but we aren't told what it might be. Someone makes the claim that humans are the only creatures with hair instead of fur.

Does anyone out there have any further or new information?
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Re: Hair

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:42 am

Slava reported: "Someone makes the claim that humans are the only creatures with hair instead of fur." I do not know who claimed this, but I cannot agree. The question about hair and fur is legitimate. I think the dictionary definitions of hair include fur. Not all hair is fur but all fur is hair. Thickness and texture come into play in discerning fur from other hair. One might also want to meditate on pelt and felt. The discussion of hair can really get hairy. Mitzi Gaynor in her role of Ensign Nellie Forbush, tried to wash that man right out of her hair. That might suggest the word bush for hair.

The scholarly Good Doctor, probably considering etymology, didn't find the word hair of sufficient linguisitic interest to be a Good Word. He is probably right, but we lesser lights can have a good time with it.
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Re: Hair

Postby eberntson » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:16 pm

Ain't that just the cat's whiskers! Whiskers are hair, and all whiskers are hair. But all things that have hair do not have whiskers. Everything that have whiskers don't have hair (e.g. Catfish). This is fun! And I've contradicted myself already, cause catfish whiskers aren't hair, they are more like barbs. The sting hurts! Then porcupines needles are actually hair that hurt too judging by the reaction of the dogs I've had. Someone else try! Someone do wool, sheep, and fur.

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Re: Hair

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:03 am

I am a little confused about catfish whiskers. I never noticed them to cause pain or to be dangerous. Some catfish have barbs in their dorsal fin that are painful when touched. As a kid we said a catfish had barbed us. In the Gulf of Mexico, Stingrays can barb one. The most pain I ever got from a sea creature was when I got tangled with a blue jellyfish called Portuguese Man-of-war.
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