We woke up feeling especially wacky today. So we put socks on our hands, gloves on our feet and, as it turns out, today just so happens to be Wacky Word Wednesday, a weekly celebration of the wackiest and most interesting words from around the world!
For your wack-tacular reading pleasure, today’s word is: meldrop.
The definition of meldrop from TermWiki.com:
a drop of mucus hanging from the tip of one’s nose
This word may not conjure up the most pleasant of images, but if you bear with us, we’ll make lemons into lemonade as we shed some light on how awesome the human body is.
To start of with, the etymology of this word comes from an Old Norse term, which means “a drop of foam from a horse’s mouth.” Used during the Viking Age, the former meaning of meldrop is referred to as lipstick during modern day dressage (or horse training) events. Another way to describe equine mouth-foam, according to the United States Dressage Federation, is “whipped cream lips.” Yum. According to this organization, such a display around the horse’s mouth should be taken positively because it indicates that the horse is relaxed but still attentive.
Now what does that say about our bodies when meldrop appears? Usually this occurs because of a runny nose, which can be the result of a variety of things—or nothing at all. A factoid that you may not want to know: the nose and sinuses make an excellent team, collectively creating about a quart (or liter) of mucus every day.
Although bucketfuls of snot aren’t on our list of polite dinner topics, this bodily function, though sloppy, is beneficial and actually necessary to maintaining good health. One of the roles of mucus is to prevent bacteria, germs, dirt and other things from invading your lungs through your nose. A cold, flu, or allergies result in runny noses because the body is working overtime to create more mucus to fight harmful things from entering. An excess of mucus can only go two ways, which is why meldrop emerges. For those living in more wintry areas, another role of the nose is to act like a heater and humidifier, warming and adding moisture to cold and dry air before it enters your lungs. As the blood vessels in the nose work to prepare the chilly air for its inward journey, they also send mucus production into overdrive. Hence, oobery-goobery meldrop.
The bodies we inhabit have some amazing abilities, which we may not always appreciate; we’ve all had those unfortunate situations where a tissue (or twenty) would’ve been really helpful. Here are a few examples of the ill-timed appearance of meldrop:
- “Well (sniff)… I think I’m an excellent (sniff) candidate for this position because (sniff-sniff), um…” Maurice said distractedly, nervously, wondering if the interviewer could see his meldrop from across the desk.
- As the children stampeded into the fast food joint from the bus, Laura saw about five gallons of collective meldrop swinging from each and every one of their noses, and promptly lost her appetite.
How do you deal with meldrop? Any neti pot users willing to give a testimonial? Or do you have some unfortunate meldrop-related memories to share?
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