Tag Archives: foot

Pedicure

Pedicure: care for the feet.

From the Latin words pes, (the genitive is pedis), and the verb curare, which means, to care for.

Some time ago, one of my high school students held her hands out in front of herself for a long time. She was clearly not paying attention in Latin class.

I asked if she was okay.

“Oh. I’m fine,” she responded. “I just desperately need a pedicure.”

“Why are you looking at your hands, then?” I asked.

Her reply made me laugh. “Oh, come on, Mr. Thomas! You are such a guy! Do you even know what a pedicure is?”

Isopod

Isopod: a crustacean with seven pairs of legs.  They use the legs to crawl. 

Most isopods live in the water, though you can find some isopods living under logs, or in dark places.

The name Isopoda comes from the Greek ἴσος (iso), the same, and the Greek word for foot, ποδός (podos). 

Still not sure what an isopod is?  Neither am I.  Perhaps this picture will help.

Representative_marine_isopod_forms

Pedigree

Pedigree: Lineage; line of ancestors from which a person or tribe descends; genealogy.

Pedigree comes from the French phrase, pie de grue, meaning: the crane’s foot.  Some thought that the spreading lines of a genealogical chart resembled the foot of a crane.

The French phrase, pie de grue, naturally derives from Latin.  Pie comes from the Latin word for foot, pes, pedis.  And grue comes from the Latin word for crane, grus.

Hexapod

Hexapod: a creature with six feet.  Any arthropod of the class Hexapoda.  In other words, an insect. 

Though he only has two feet, Marvel has brought a “hexapod” hero to the big screen: https://youtu.be/xInh3VhAWs8

Hexapod comes from the Greek word ἑξαποδία (hexapodia), meaning “six- footed”).  The word ἑξαποδία is a combination of ἑξα (hexa), six and the Greek word for foot, ποδός (podos).

Peddler

Peddler: a walking salesman; a traveling trader; one who travels about, retailing small wares; a hawker; a huckster; a street vendor.

These days, the word peddler may describe someone who sells illegal drugs, or stolen goods.

Peddler shows up in English in the 1200’s. No one is really sure where the word originated, but some etymologists think it might come from French pied, which of course, came from the Latin word for foot, pes, pedis. In this sense, the word could refer to a trader travelling on foot.

Pedestrian

Pedestrian: a walker; someone who journeys on foot.

As an adjective, something pedestrian describes a going on foot; walking; made on foot; as a pedestrian journey.

Interestingly, pedestrian also means boring, mundane, banal, prosaic, or commonplace. When we use the word this way, we are actually reaching back to the old Latin word pedester, which described the long, boring marches of the Roman infantry.

Pedestrian comes from the Latin word for foot, pes (genitive, pedis).

Speaking of journeying on foot, here is a good reminder:

I don’t think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups. – Rita Rudner

Gastropod

Gastropod: Snails and slugs.

These guys are members of a class of mollusks (Gastropoda) that use their stomachs as a foot.

I used to work with some guys like that.

A scientist named Georges Cuvier coined the word in 1795. Cuvier created the word by combining the Greek word for stomach, γαστήρ (gaster), and the Greek word for foot, ποδός (podos).