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Volute is related to the word revolve

The curly thing at the end of a staircase handrail is called a volute.
Volute stairs

Any architecture ornament that is a spiral is also called a volute.
volute architecture ornament

Today volute is dictionary.com’s Word of the Day.
Volute word of the day for November 8, 2018

Volute. Why are curly, spiral things called volutes? Is volute based from some other word? TO THE ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY!

The volute (n.) entry says:

1690s, “spiral ornament on an Ionic capital,” from French volute (16c.), from Italian voluta, from Latin voluta “a spiral scroll,” noun use of fem. past participle of volvere “to turn around, roll,” from PIE root *wel- (3) “to turn, revolve.” Extended 1756 to any spiral thing or part. As a type of spiral seashell, it is attested from 1753.

Ahh, so there you have it. Volute is related to word revolve. I love etymology.

One Response to Volute is related to the word revolve

  1. Matt Maldre November 10, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

    Their pronunciation key here is nice. My Chicago accent wanted to pronounce it VAH-loot. Instead it’s vuh-LOOT. Sounds much more European.

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