petite anglaise

October 14, 2004

word of the week

Filed under: Uncategorized — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:00 pm

It’s not often I come across a word I don’t know/can’t guess the meaning of. But this morning looking for the first time at the guide to the Paris metro on the station wall while waiting for my train, I saw this puzzling word:


It sounds like a name for a foot fetishist, or possibly a type of dinosaur. But in fact, it is the word used to describe the textured strip which runs along the edge of the metro station platform, which you can feel with your feet. Presumably to stop people who can’t see very well/at all from falling off the edge. So foot fetishist was close: those GCSE Latin lessons with Mr Shaw (where Caecilius was cheating on his wife with the slave girl) did have their uses after all.

So, podotactile is officially word of the week.

I challenge you all to use it in conversation at least twice.


  1. I’ll be sure to try when we go to Paris on Saturday. :)

    Comment by ViVi — October 14, 2004 @ 3:10 pm

  2. amazing! I was talking to a friend in singapore the other day, who was complaining because their new podotactile is made of metal, not rubber. Because of this unfortunate use of material, and the fact that singapore is a tropical country which receives lots of rain, and its metro stations are mainly overhead, not undergrough, the new podotactiles have become a real health hazard, instead of simply a guide for the vision-impaired. Unfortunately, she and I just referred to it as the pimple floor.

    Comment by nardac — October 14, 2004 @ 3:31 pm

  3. Challenge accepted! I’ll see what I can get away with.

    Comment by Dan — October 15, 2004 @ 12:40 pm

  4. “Hello there miss,

    what a wonderful podotactile next to you. Mind if I step on it?”

    Nice blog and hope you get better soon.

    I totally agree about Dan Brown. Da Vinci Code was captivating but having later read 3 other of his books it’s all the same: treasure hunt, 3 simultaneous story lines, very shallow…

    Comment by David Kaspar — October 16, 2004 @ 1:34 pm

  5. Are you sure it’s not a dinosaur?.

    I’ll be disappointed if I’m wrong.

    Comment by Watski — October 18, 2004 @ 12:02 am

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