Word of the Day: Dermatoglyphics
1) The ridge patterns of skin on the inner surface of the hands and feet.
2) The scientific study of these skin patterns.
Coined in 1926 by Dr Harold Cummins (1893-1976) from Greek dermato- (skin) + glyphein (to carve). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gleubh- (to tear apart), which is also the source of cleave, glyph, clever, and clove (garlic). And that’s also where we get cleavage, cleft palate, and cloven hooves. Earliest documented use: 1926.