Did You Know?
"Osculate" comes from the Latin noun "osculum," meaning "kiss" or "little mouth." It was included in a dictionary of "hard" words in 1656, but we have no evidence that anyone actually used it until the 19th century, except for scientists who used it differently, to mean "contact." Today, "osculate" is used in geometry for the action of a pair of curves or surfaces that touch so that they have a common tangent at the point of contact. When "osculate" is used to mean "kiss," the context is often humorous.
"I've been osculated by everyone in the building!" Kevin exclaimed, wiping his cheeks to remove the vestiges of kisses planted there by adoring family on his wedding day.
"When a pretty girl steps forward fully puckered up and expecting an appropriate response, it would be ungentlemanly to turn away…. But is there a correct way to osculate…?" -- From an article in The Sentinel (UK), February 22, 2010
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