One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of several small tongue-shaped structures; specifically (a) a protuberance of the sphenoid bone or of the mandible; (b) a subdivision of the vermis of the cerebellum; (c) a part of the left lung projecting downward from the upper lobe.
2A small tongue-shaped object or part; (in later use) specifically (historical) a strip of leather covering the instep in ancient Greek and Roman shoes.
3Zoology and Palaeontology. A brachiopod of the genus Lingula or class Lingulata; the shell of this, typically having a rounded oblong shape. Also (in form Lingula): the genus itself.
Early 17th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin lingula tongue-shaped projection or flap, in post-classical Latin also epiglottis, strip of land from lingua tongue + -ula.
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