ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,
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purlicue

purlicue or purliecue ((ˈpərlə̇ˌkyü)
1.  The space enclosed by the extended forefinger and thumb.
2.  The summarizing section of a discourse; a review or recital of a series of sermons or addresses.
3.  A dash or flourish at the end of a word (similar to curlicue); any trifle or oddity; peculiarities or oddities of manner.

The first definition refers to the space between finger and thumb, not to the webbing of the hand.

"A spang and a purlicue" was a measurement used when playing marbles (a 'spang' is the width of a belt buckle).

Etymology:  Its origin is most often listed as the Scots word pirlie (twisted, having a tendency to curl up).  Seen in dictionaries from the 1840s and later, and at least one reference from as far back as 1808.
Tags: noun, p, scots, wordsmith: ersatz_read
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