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Subject: Terminology


From: John Ashman <j.ashman>
Date: Monday, September 20, 2004
Arturs Lapins <artvrs [at] parks__lv> writes

>I am looking for a reasonable definition of the term "spandrel" or
>"spandril" to be able to translate it in Latvian. So far I have
>found German translation "pendentif", which does not explain too
>much, and also Russian "pazuha arki", which would be "arm-pit of an
>What was original Latin and/or Greek name for it?

The Oxford English Dictionary Online gives the following:

    1. The triangular space between the outer curve of an arch and
    the rectangle formed by the mouldings enclosing it, frequently
    filled in with ornamental work; any similar space between an
    arch and a straight-sided figure bounding it; also, the space
    included between the shoulders of two contiguous arches and the
    moulding or string-course above them.

    2. The support of a set of steps; the material with which the
    space between a stair and the floor is filled in.

The origin of the word is not clear. OED says, it is apparently a
diminutive of Anglo-French. spaundre, -dere (1395), of doubtful
origin; perhaps identical with (e)spandre to expand, extend.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:16
                Distributed: Tuesday, September 28, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-18-16-007
Received on Monday, 20 September, 2004

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