Monday, March 09, 2015

Word of the Day: Dolichocephalic

context: Francois Bizot is in Cambodia. He has been studying Buddhist practices unique to that country. He describes an acquaintance:

He was a young man, and I remember well his handsome dolichocephalic profile, the creamy white of his eyes standing out from his swarthy complexion, the strong red of his mouth spreading out onto his fleshy lips.

definition (Merriam-Webster): having a relatively long head with cephalic index of less than 75.

I suppose I have to look up “cephalic index” now.

This is what Wikipedia has to say: The cephalic index or cranial index is the ratio of the maximum width of the head of an organism (human or animal) multiplied by 100 divided by its maximum length (i.e., in the horizontal plane, or front to back). The index is also used to categorize animals, especially dogs and cats.

So our handsome young man had a long head, relative to something.

source: The Gate by Francois Bizot
translated by Euan Cameron

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