Friulian language series: names of parts of the human head

In Friulian, the human head is called il cjâf, and the head sits upon the neck, or il cuel. On the scalp grows hair; the scalp is called la piel dal cjâf. Taken literally, this means skin of the head, where la piel is the Friulian for skin. A single strand of hair is un cjaveli.

All the hair on one’s scalp is referred to collectively as i cjavei, which is the plural form of il cjaveli. I cjavei may be luncs (long) or curts (short). For instance, al à i cjavei curts means he has short hair, and e à i cjavei luncs means she has long hair. The adjectives luncs and curts are masculine plural in form, to agree with the masculine plural noun i cjavei. The masculine singular forms of these adjectives are lunc and curt.

To talk about the colour of one’s hair, one of these adjectives may be employed: neri (black, dark brown), blanc (white), biont (blond), ros (red), castagn (brown, chestnut brown), grîs (grey). Of course, when talking about hair, the masculine plural forms of these adjectives would be used, which are: neris, blancs, bionts, ros, castagns, grîs. For instance, if a man had white hair, it may be said of him thus: al à i cjavei blancs (he has white hair).

The adjectives scûr (dark) and clâr (light) may also be used; their masculine plural forms are scûrs and clârs. For instance, if one had dark hair, of himself he may say: o ai i cjavei scûrs (I have dark hair). If he had no hair whatsoever left unto him, then he is crop or coç, both of which mean bald. The expression deventâ crop, as an example, means to go bald: al è deventât crop (he has gone bald).

Just below the scalp, on the front of the head, is the brow; in Friulian, the brow is called il cerneli. If one had a great brow, he may say of himself: o ai il cerneli alt (I have a high brow). If he had a small brow, so would he instead say: o ai il cerneli strent (I have a narrow brow). Just behind the brow is found the brain: il cerviel.

Below the brow are the eyes, or i voi, formed from the singular il voli (eye). One eye, then, is un voli, and two eyes is doi voi. If one had green eyes, he may say: o ai i voi verts (I have green eyes). If his eyes were blue, so would he then say: o ai i voi celescj (I have blue eyes). These adjectives in masculine singular form are vert (green) and celest (light blue). If his eyes were dark, he may say: o ai i voi scûrs (I have dark eyes); if they were light, he would instead say: o ai i voi clârs (I have light eyes). If a man’s eyes were protruding, so may it be said of him: al à i voi infûr (his eyes stick out). If he had good eyesight, it may be said: al à i voi bogns (he has good eyes). The masculine singular form of bogns is bon (good).

The eyelid is la palpiere in Friulian, whereas the eyebrow is la cee. The plural forms of these nouns are lis palpieris (eyelids) and lis ceis (eyebrows). Like the eyebrows, the eyelashes are called lis ceis, although the term lis ceis de palpiere may also be used for clarity.

Just below the eyes are the cheekbones; in Friulian, the cheekbone is called il mêl de muse. The plural form is i mêi de muse. A man may have freckles on this area of the face; a freckle in Friulian is une pivicje. Al à lis pivicjis, then, means he has freckles, where lis pivicjis is the plural form. If one had freckles, then he is also very likely to be fair-skinned: al à la piel clare (he has fair skin).

Between the eyes is found the nose: il nâs. A nostril of the nose is referred to as une narile; its plural form is lis narilis. But it is also said: la buse dal nâs, or hole of the nose, and such term will be found even in the Bible; its plural is lis busis dal nâs (holes of the nose). A nose may be described as piçul (small), grues (big), prominent (prominent), infûr (sticking out), sfracaiât (flattened), acuilin (hooked; literally, aquiline), sfilât (pointed), stuart (crooked). Al à il nâs stuart, for instance, means he has a crooked nose.

Under the nose is found the mouth; in Friulian, the mouth is called la bocje. A small mouth may be described as une bocje piçule; a broad mouth, une bocje largje. The masculine singular form of largje is larc. On the outside of the mouth are the lips: i lavris. The upper lip is called il lavri parsore; the lower lip is il lavri sot. Inside the mouth are found the teeth and the tongue; the Friulian for tooth is il dint, and for tongue it is la lenghe. The plural of il dint is i dincj (teeth). Of a person with buck teeth, it may be said: al à i dincj infûr (his teeth stick out).

On either side of the mouth is un smursiel (cheek); the plural form is i smursiei. The cheeks are also known as la muse. The lower jaw is called la mandibule; in this zone, a man may have a beard: une barbe. Of course, the beard grows not on the mandible itself, but on the cheeks: su la muse. A man may also have a moustache on the upper lip: une mostacje. The Friulian for moustache is usually employed in the plural: o ai barbe e mostacjis (I have a beard and moustache). An individual hair of the beard or moustache is called un pêl; its plural form is i pêi. For instance, the hairs of the beard is expressed as i pêi de barbe in Friulian. Note that i cjavei is used only to refer to the hair on the top of the head.

A man’s beard also covers the chin: il barbuç. If one had a small chin, it may be said of him thus: al à il barbuç piçul (he has a small chin) or al à il barbuç fracât (he has a receding chin). If his chin were protruding, it may instead be said: al à il barbuç che al ven infûr (he has a chin which sticks out) or al à il barbuç ben segnât (he has a pronounced chin).

On either side of the head is found an ear: une orele; the plural form is lis orelis (ears). Of a one whose ears are prominent, it may be said: al à lis orelis infûr (his ears stick out) or al à lis orelis che a vegnin infûr (he has ears which stick out). If he had trouble hearing, so may it be said: al è dûr di orele (he is hard of hearing).