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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:42 pm

• patulous •

Pronunciation: pæch-ê-lês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Open, expanded, expansive. 2. Spreading out, opening up, like branches of a tree or petals of a flower.

Notes: This is a relatively rare word outside the sciences of botany and entomology. It has the expectable adverb, patulously, and noun, patulousness.

In Play: The basic sense of today's word is "expansive": "Henry loved to recline under the patulous elm tree in his garden." The term is used in medicine most widely in the sense of "open": "Hazel's complexion was marred by patulous pores, opened by years of smoking."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from a similar Latin adjective, patulus, from patere "to be(come) open". Latin inherited this word from Proto-Indo-European pet(ê)- "to spread". With the suffix -mo, pet(ê)- went into the making of English fathom, with the regular Germanic changes of [p] → [f] and [t] → [th]. We find its offspring in Greek petasos "broad-brimmed hat" and petalon "leaf", whence English petal. Apparently, this PIE word had a Fickle N, for we find it in the Latin borrowing expand. Another word with the Fickle N is pandy "to punish by striking the open palm", mostly a British term. (Now for a patulous note of gratitude to Mary Jane Stoneburg, one of the GW's decade-long editors, for suggesting today's very Good Word.)
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David Myer
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Re: Patulous

Postby David Myer » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:09 am

Not sure I like patulousness for the noun. Surely patulence is sweeter?

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Grand Panjandrum
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Re: Patulous

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:11 pm

-----please, draw me a sheep-----

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