Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
"anklebone," 1690s, from Latin talus "ankle, anklebone, knucklebone" (plural tali), related to Latin taxillus "a small die, cube" (they originally were made from the knucklebones of animals).
"slope," 1640s, from French talus (16c.), from Old French talu "slope" (12c.), probably from Gallo-Romance *talutum, from Latin talutium "a slope or outcrop of rock debris," possibly of Celtic origin (cf. Breton tal "forehead, brow").
OED, however, suggests derivation from root of talus (1) in the sense of "heel" which developed in its Romanic descendants. Mainly used of military earthwork at first; meaning "sloping mass of rocky fragments that has fallen from a cliff" is first recorded 1830.
talus ta·lus (tā'ləs)
n. pl. ta·li (-lī')
The bone of the ankle that articulates with the tibia and fibula to form the ankle joint. Also called anklebone, astragalus.
|talus 1 |
Plural tali (tā'lī')
The bone of the ankle that articulates with the tibia and fibula to form the ankle joint.