If you have been following this blog for a while, you will be aware of the fact that I am rather irrationally fond of very scientific-sounding French words used to denote common things.
My love of the word podotactile, which can be translated into English with the slightly less elegant “strip along the side of a métro platform that has bumps on that you can feel if you are wearing thin-soled shoes” has already been widely documented.
Peeling the transparent film off a microwave dinner the other day (and yes, I know it’s bad, but believe me, that was one of my better moments, nutritionally, in recent weeks) I was overjoyed to notice that said transparent cover is called an l’opercule, a term which comes from Latin and is also used in neuroscience and botany. Imagine, if you will, that the instructions on your microwave meal asked you to “pull back the operculus”. Would you have any appetite left?
But my favourite new phrase by far is the one used to designate the place where water must be poured into my new steam iron (after old iron was accidentally melted in a freak hob-top incident at the weekend when I tried to cook pasta with a hangover). I give you: l’orifice de remplissage.
I’m looking at it warily right now and I just don’t know if I can.