Monday, October 3, 2011


TileHead’s Word of the Day for 3 October 2011

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  1. (v.) to use a trephine or other instrument to bore a hole into bone, as into a person’s skull to perform a medical procedure
  2. (v.) to bore a shaft of any kind
  3. (v.) to remove a disk or cylindrical core (as from metal)
  4. (n.) an instrument or tool used for boring holes

Useful information for game players:
  • Front hooks: (none)
  • Back hooks: -G, -S
  • Longer extensions: -GS, -NED, -NER, -NERS, -NING, -ATION, - ATIONS
  • Wraparounds: (none)
  • Other Spellings: TRAPAN (v.)
  • Related Forms: TREPANNER (n.), TREPANATION (n.), TREPHINE (v.), TREPHINATION (n.)

This one should cause you to wake up and take notice on a Monday morning!  TREPANATION (or TREPHINATION) is the practice of boring a hole in the skull, usually for the purpose of relieving pressure or for operating on the dura matter that surrounds the brain.  Archaeological evidence suggests that the practice was used in several ancient cultures, and legitimate modern forms of trepanation are still practiced by neurosurgeons today.

The word TREPAN (or TRAPAN) arose in Middle English circa 1400, deriving from the Medieval Latin trepanum and ultimately from the Greek trypanon, “something that bores or perforates; a borer.”  The word TREPHINE is often used synonymously, though technically speaking a trephine is a more modern form of the trepan.  TREPHINE entered English in the seventeenth century, cleverly patterned by its inventor after both the earlier word and the Latin tres fines (“three ends”).

This week’s theme: Words starting with the letter T

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