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Word of the Day – occiput

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occiput; noun

the back part of the head or skull

Example Sentence:
“So let me suggest that everyone put away their pitchforks and firebrands and stop trying to ‘bury the hatchet’ by planting it in the other fellow’s occiput.” (Allan Falk, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, May 7, 2007)

Did you know?
“Occiput” came to English from Latin, where it was created from “ob-,” meaning “against,” and “capit-” or “caput,” meaning “head.” Its adjectival form, “occipital,” meaning “of, relating to, or located within or near the occiput or the occipital bone,” abounds in medical texts but is found in literary ones too, as in George Eliot’s description of the coiffure of the “young ladies who frizzed their hair, and gathered it all into large barricades in front of their heads, leaving their occipital region exposed without ornament, as if that, being a back view, was of no consequence…” in Scenes of Clerical Life. Another “caput” derivation is “sinciput,” a word used to refer to either the forehead or the upper half of the skull.

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