Monday, January 10, 2011

Unusual Words Defined A - Z (Part R)

A continuation of the series.

n. An icicle-like rust structure formed underwater on rusting iron. [Blend of rust and icicle.]

Earliest Citation:
Dr. Robert Ballard, head of a research team currently photographing the sunken luxury liner, said yesterday the vessel's exquisite woodwork has all but disappeared....The ship, inside and out, is covered with stalactite-like icicles of rust or 'rusticles,' he said.—Barbara Yaffe, "Rust 'icicles' drape hull of Titanic," The Globe and Mail, July 17, 1986

From: Word Spy
Image from:

P.S. In linguistics blended words are often referred to as portmanteau words from the French word for a suitcase with two compartments. Click here for more on portmanteau words.

1 comment:

Megadyne said...

That is a fun word! I don't know how you would use it unless you were talking about the Titanic though. That's probably why its unusual. I'm going to try and use it in casual speech today though.

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