In a word: Evaginate

July 11, 2011

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:

EVAGINATE

When the clothes dryer turns the pockets of your pajamas inside out, there is a word for the phenomenon. They have been evaginated.

Evaginate (pronounced uh-VAJ-uh-nate) is a word more commonly used in biology or physiology, meaning to turn a tubular or pouch-shaped organ or structure inside out, The New Oxford American Dictionary advises.

The etymology, as you may already have suspected, traces back to the Latin evaginare: e, "out of," vagina, "sheath."

Example: In Monopoly, the "Pay poor tax" chance card shows Mr. Monopoly shrugging, with his trouser pockets evaginated.

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