Etymology: Henry Colley March, a British physician and amateur archaeologist, devised the word in 1889 by combining the Greek skeuos, which means container or implement, with morphē, a reference to shape. Meaning: In an age deeply preoccupied with ornament, March offered a handy term for a common but often awkwardly described kind of decoration. “The forms demonstrably due to structure require a name, ” he wrote. “If those taken from animals are called zoomorphs and those taken from plants phyllomorphs, it will be convenient to call those derived from structure skeuomorphs.” The lion foot at the base of a chair leg is a zoomorph, and a foliated wrought iron gate This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 46 Word: Wintering When to withdraw from the world. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Word: Explication An explanation to end all explanations. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Word: Anecdata Fact, meet fiction. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Word: Knolling The fascinating history of the flat lay. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Word: Hyperobject A word for things too huge to name. Arts & Culture Word: Negentropy A physicist’s fix for a messy home.