In the pre-dawn hours last Wednesday morning as I ambulated with two of my friends, I had a nasty spill. The toe of my shoe caught on the edge of the asphalt and I did a face plant. My German-sized nose (inherited from my maternal grandfather) cushioned my fall. Somewhat. Lucky for me, only two of my teeth were slightly chipped. (And bruised!!) The song “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” has taken on new meaning for me! Chip and seal also has a new twist to it– I chip (my teeth) and my dentist seals them. And this leads me to the first word for today.
Ever heard of the word edentate? Edentate (ee-den-teyt) is a fancy adjective that means toothless. I’m lucky that I’m not toothless from my fall!
Newborn babies are edentate. They do not have any teeth for several months. My father was edentate. He didn’t have very good teeth. Back in the early 1940s, the dentist just pulled Dad’s teeth instead of trying to fix them so Dad could keep them. So, Dad was edentate until he got dentures.
Edentate also refers to an order of mammals characterized by the absence of incisors and canines in the arrangement of teeth. These mammals include armadillos, sloths, and the South American anteaters. So you can see how edentate came to mean toothless.
Ambulate is the next word. Ambulate (am-byuh-leyt) is a verb that means to walk about or move from place to place. I was ambulating for exercise when I fell. If school children miss the school bus, they might have to ambulate (walk) to school. During the Christmas shopping season, shoppers sometimes have to do a lot of ambulating at the mall in search of Christmas presents. Or parking spaces.
People who want to lose weight, ambulate on a treadmill. Brides ambulate down the church aisle to be married. Lovers like to ambulate on the beach at sunset.
I think I’m going to heal my body a bit before I do any more ambulating . . . .