ellesieg (ellesieg) wrote in 1word1day,

Tuesday Word: wen

Wen is a great word. It has something for everyone!

For skin condition enthusiasts: Wen is another word for a trichilemmal or pilar cyst. The trichilemma is the outer sheath of a hair follicle, the sac within which a hair fiber grows. Wens are typically found on the scalp and contain keratin, a key component of the hair, nails and outer layer of the skin.

For the socially awkward and people who always put “dermatologist” on their list of potential spouses when playing MASH: If you happen to develop a wen, then you could ask someone to a movie and when they ask “When?” you could lean forward and part your hair at them.

For rune and cyst enthusiasts alike: Wen is an alternate spelling of wynn, a rune meaning “joy.”

For misanthropists: When used in a figurative sense, a wen is a large, crowded city or a crowded city district. The term is often applied specifically to London.

If you search for wen, you will see it defined as a sebaceous cyst. Which it is..sort of. "Sebaceous cyst" is used to refer to both epidermoid/epidermal and pilar/trichilemmal cysts, but neither type of cyst contains sebaceous matter (sebum) or has any particularly noteworthy connection to the sebaceous glands at all. It's all very confusing. I am very confused. You might say that wen has led me into a metaphorical wen, from the dark depths of which I fear I will never emerge. But that's my problem. This entry's problem is that it lacks any etymological information, and so:

Wen’s ultimate origin is unknown, but it can be traced back to the Late German wehne or wähne, meaning "wart" or "tumor."
Tags: german, medical, noun, unknown etymology, w, wordsmith: ellesieg

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