Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Roses are Rutilant?

Twelve highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion.
-Scottish Proverb
Yesterday, I encountered the same new word twice. A placemat at a diner asked, "The Scots are more rutilant than any other nation. What does that mean?" Later while reading a geology book it described the rocks of the Triassic period as particularly rutilant.

Rutilant means bright red.

According to Wikipedia, red hair is a recessive trait, you must inherit it from both parents. Red hair is the rarest natural hair color in humans at 1 to 2% of the world population. It's more common in Western or Northern Europe with 2-6% and most common in Scotland at 13% with another 40% of the Scots carrying the gene recessively. People with red hair usually have fair skin and freckles; the fair skin makes it easier to make vitamin D from weak northern sunlight but increases the risk of skin cancer under intense sun.

The Triassic period gave rise to the dinosaurs and first mammals. It's named after Triad for the three rock layers created during this period. The first layer of rocks formed during the Early Triassic are an intense red all the way through and can be seen throughout the world.

Bottom Line

You're never too old to learn new worlds. Not sure I'll ever use rutilant but it's nice to know what it means.

Here's a bonus word that sounds a bit similar but is very different:

red·o·lent/ˈredl-ənt/ Adjective
1.Strongly reminiscent of something: "names redolent of history and tradition".
2.Strongly smelling of something: "the church was old, dark, and redolent of incense".

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