flexuous

Here’s a word that really flexes its sense. Flex what? U O U S – a set of curves countercurving, bending like barrels or ship bows, veering and careering like a river. It’s like a chart of a fluxus, deflecting and reflecting. Even your tongue, as it says it, rolls and laps like waves at the shore of your alveolar ridge.

Flexuous comes from Latin, through flexuosus from flexus from flectere ‘to bend’. Its course to English winds a little along the way but is not nearly as anfractuous as many another, and its sense has moved in a straight line, pretty much.

What is flexuous? Many a thing in the world, trees and flowers and watercourses and park paths and the bent wood and stone vaults of art and architecture, and the bending body of a dancer and even the twisted sheets that wreathe your flexing limbs as you lie in bed asleep starting to snore this word rotated 180 degrees: snonx

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