Ramuli

by Heather

Vest-Pocket Vocabulary

Ram’uli, n. young twigs or shoots.

Word in the Wild: Adrienne thought she’d killed the plant since only dry dirt and withered leaves had occupied the planter for months. But when she came in this morning she saw that over the weekend, quite magically, some hardy ramuli had shot up out of the dessicated soil.

The word ramuli was first documented in English use in 1678 according to the OED, but it comes from Latin and is the plural form of this noun. The singular form is ramulus and means “little branch.” (Ramus = branch and ulus = suffix indicating a diminutive form)

This word has been used almost exclusively in scientific writings referring either to plants or to the tree-like branching of blood vessels in animals. But I’m going to try to use it all the time—I think it rolls off the tongue in a delightful way!

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