This word may strike the unfamiliar as somehow caustic, or perhaps pertaining to a caul, or the date on which something was caused. To hear it, it’s something the cod ate. But in reality, its object is more likely appended to something that ate the cod. Ah, thereby hangs a tale… If you wish to give the cat a due, here it is: a word for things that have tails. The root is straightforward: Latin cauda, “tail.” Let your cat not bathe it in a bagna càuda. Fans of sound symbolism may wonder how so uncaudal a word could come to signify a tail. What could be curly or sinuous about a word with nothing but stops for consonants – not a liquid anywhere, and little curling of the vowels either? And yet you will find your cat so cuddly as it strokes you caudally…
Get a premium subscriptionSupport Sesquiotica with a paid subscription and get extra premium content and goodies. Starts as low as $1 a month! Find out more and subscribe on Patreon.com
I am for hireI earn my living as an independent editor, writer, and educator. Find out more and contact me at jamesharbeck.com.
Buy the T-shirt (or coffee mug or hip flask)
Wear it proudly:
I operate on a NEED-TO-KNOW basis. I need to know EVERYTHING.
Buy it at cafepress.ca/sesquiphernalia
Buy my books
Word Tasting Notes Google groupGet just the word tasting notes daily by email – join the Google Word Tasting Notes group.