Word of the Day

Sunday, October 27, 2013

phrenology

\fri-NOL-uh-jee, fre-\ , noun;
1.
a psychological theory or analytical method based on the belief that certain mental faculties and character traits are indicated by the configurations of the skull.
Quotes:
According to Moleschott's celebrated dictum — 'Without phosphorus no thought,' and if there be any truth in physiology and phrenology, you women have been stinted by nature in the supply of phosphorus.
-- Augsta Jane Evans, Augusta Jane Evans, 1866
“Why don't you just put a phrenologist on the case and be done with it?” His reference to phrenology was intended to sting, as it was the touchstone for an ongoing disagreement between the two.
-- Rodney Osborne, Straw Men, 2011
Origin:
The phren- in phrenology comes from the Greek phreno- referring to the diaphragm and the abdomen. This sense was extended in the writings of Homer to refer to the area around the heart as well as the mind.
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