One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural scoriaemass noun
1Basaltic lava ejected as fragments from a volcano, typically with a frothy texture.‘chunks of black scoria’count noun ‘the village lay half silted up under black scoriae and dust’
- ‘Small vesicular pieces of volcanic material, scoria, collect around the vent to form a cinder cone.’
- ‘It's always slightly warmer on Rangitoto thanks to the black scoria, but the 360 degree view of the gulf and the volcano-studded cityscape of Auckland is matchless.’
- ‘Some of these cones are now barely recognisable, having been excavated for the volcanic cinder, scoria, used to build the roads of Auckland.’
- ‘Alluvial, colluvial or chemically formed gravel, clayey gravel, sandstone, limestone, tuff, scoria are examples of marginal materials.’
- ‘They cut steps in the frozen snow and made good progress along a ridge of ‘rugged scoriae’ which took them to the summit.’
2Slag separated from molten metal during smelting.‘the scoria has been expelled completely from the mercury’
Late Middle English (denoting slag from molten metal): via Latin from Greek skōria ‘refuse’, from skōr ‘dung’. The geological term dates from the late 18th century.
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