X + anthoderma = XANTHODERMA

xanthoderma xan·tho·der·ma (zān'thə-dûr'mə)
    1. A yellow coloration of the skin.
  1. 2. See xanthochromia.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary

Wouldn't this be a great way to call someone a coward? It sounds so much more elegant than "you yellow-bellied coward!" This would be a great way to insult someone, like those Shakespearean insults that were popular for awhile. Of course I can't really picture John Wayne saying "you xanthoderma coward!" or Bruce Willis saying "come back here you xanthoderna x@!nli#"

The important thing here is to use the proper language in the proper setting. I would think medical students could get quite creative with this language, and perhaps art students could too . . .

I have heard it said that the English language is shrinking and I do believe that our literacy comprehension level is lowering. As a writer I want to write to my audience in way that doesn't frustrate them, but I also want to drop in just enough to push them "up" a bit. This seems to me to be a delicate line to walk, but I believe writers carry that responsibility.

For today, I hope your skin does not appear to have xanthoderma. If it does, perhaps you should go have your liver checked!

Labels: , , , , ,