Word of the Day – Monday, April 30th



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TETE (tet)

French word meaning “head”
Common clues: Head of France; French noodle?; Henri's head; Nice head; French head; Head of Paris; Place for a chapeau; Nantes noggin; French thinker?
Crossword puzzle frequency: 5 times a year
News: North, South Korean Leaders Talked Tete-a-Tete During Walk in Panmunjom
Frequency in English language: 73844 / 86800

In anatomy, the head of an animal is the rostral part (from anatomical position) that usually comprises the brain, eyes, ears, nose and mouth (all of which aid in various sensory functions, such as sight, hearing, smell, and taste). Some very simple animals may not have a head, but many bilaterally symmetric forms do.

Tête-à-tête literally means head to head. The phrase is used to describe an informal private conversation between two people, especially friends.

For humans, the head and particularly the face are the main distinguishing feature between different people, due to their easily discernible features such as hair and eye color, nose, eye and mouth shapes, wrinkles, etc. Human faces are easily differentiable to us due to our brains' predispositions toward discriminating human facial forms. When observing a relatively unfamiliar species, all faces seem to be nearly identical, and human infants are biologically programmed to recognize subtle differences in anthropic facial features.

People who are more intelligent than normal are sometimes depicted in cartoons as having bigger heads, as a way of indicating that they have a larger brain; in science fiction, an extraterrestrial having a big head is often symbolic of high intelligence. Outside of this symbolic depiction, however, advances in neurobiology have shown that the functional diversity of the brain means that a difference in overall brain size is not a reliable indicator of how much, if any, difference in overall intelligence exists between two humans.

The head is a source for many metaphors and metonymies in human language, including referring to things which are often located near the human head ( "the head of the bed"), things which are physically similar to the way an animal's (or human's) head is arranged spatially vis-à-vis its body ("the head of the table"), even if this is so metaphorically ("the head of the class/FBI"), and things which represent some characteristic we associate with the head, such as intelligence ("there are a lot of good heads in this company"). These examples are all from English, but only some are possible expressions in other languages (depending on the language). (See Lakoff and Johnson 1980, 1999)

The ancient Greeks had a method for evaluating sexual attractiveness based on the Golden Ratio, part of which included measurements of the head.

TETE (298) 20 Mo >1 06 Head of France

18 We >1 08 Head of France?

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Head".   17 We- >1 03 Henri's head