Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New Word Wednesday: pediculous

You'll recognize the pedi- root of pediculous from words like pedicure and pedestrian. Seeing that feet is involved, you might surmise that pediculous means "having a large number of feet," like a centipede, a millipede, or the Rockettes.

But don't go calling the Rockettes pediculous just yet. The feet that pediculous refers to are much smaller and prefer fleshy rather than flashy dances.

The Latin word pediculus means "little foot," but is also the name of the genus for lice.

Pediculous describes someone or something suffering from an infestation of lice (pediculosis).

You'll excuse me, if not thank me, for omitting an illustration for this word. Pediculous is a lousy word.