August 2nd, 2012

words are sexy


lanate (LAY-nayt) - adj., covered in or composed of wooly hairs.

An alternate form is lanose and frankly I can see why that is less common -- not only is it not as nice to say, but it suggests something repulsive. Lanate is soft, like mullein leaves, or lambs. I like to think that lanuginose ("nearly lanate, but with shorter hair") is more for things like the underside of magnolia leaves. Borrowed in the 1750s from Latin lānātus, wooly, from lāna, wool + an adjectival suffix.

The first soft breeze of spring blew over the lanate catkins of the willow tree.