☆ (theidolhands) wrote in 1word1day,


Saturday Word: Meconium

a newly hatched butterfly @ The SF Conservatory of Flowers

me·co·ni·um [mɪˈkoʊ ni əm]:
origin: (1595–1605) Latin; mēcōnium= poppy juice, Greek; μηκώνιον= poppy

Believe it or not, you have something in common with a butterfly and metamorphosis. However, it's not as pretty as you may wish. Look closely at the photo of the Sulphur Butterfly above, you'll notice splotches along the white walls and top of the container. That is Miconium or "leftover waste" from birth, in the insect's case its an amazing transformation that changes chubby caterpillars into winged waifs.

If you're eating, I don't recommend you look at Wikipedia's example from a human infant, but both produce a tar-like texture that features much the same leftover byproduct ingredients involved in the specialized synergy and cells of reproduction. In short, meconium is our very first poops! Aww.

You may have noticed the origin of this word, which is also a secondary definition..."poppy juice", while the seeds can be eaten or soaked into tea, the sticky sap gathered from the pods is often turned into tar heroin (although it's also used in latex) and indeed bears a resemblance to baby poo. Hence, the common root word.

I'll leave you with my sympathies on the recent death of American actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who is believed to have died of a heroin overdose.

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Tags: greek, latin, m, noun, wordsmith: theidolhands

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