Friulian language series: names of parts of the human head

In Friulian, the human head is called il cjâf. The head sits upon the neck: il cuel.

Hair grows on the scalp; in Friulian, the scalp is called la piel dal cjâf. This literally means skin of the head, where la piel is the Friulian for skin. A single strand of hair is called un cjaveli.

All the hair on one’s head is referred to collectively as i cjavei, which is the plural form of il cjaveli. I cjavei can 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, you might use one of the following adjectives: neri (black, dark brown), blanc (white), biont (blond), ros (red), castagn (brown, chestnut brown), grîs (grey). Of course, when talking about hair, you would use the masculine plural forms of these adjectives, which are: neris, blancs, bionts, ros, castagns, grîs. For instance, if a man had white hair, you might say of him al à i cjavei blancs (he has white hair).

You might also use the adjectives scûr (dark) and clâr (light); their masculine plural forms are scûrs and clârs. For instance, if you had dark hair, you might say o ai i cjavei scûrs (I have dark hair). If you had no hair at all remaining, then you are 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 forehead; in Friulian, the forehead is called il cerneli. If you had a big forehead, you might say o ai il cerneli alt (I have a high forehead). If you had a small forehead, you might say instead o ai il cerneli strent (I have a narrow forehead). Just behind your forehead is found the brain: il cerviel.

Just below the forehead are the eyes: i voi. The singular form of i voi is il voli (eye). One eye, then, is un voli, and two eyes is doi voi. If your eyes were green, you might say o ai i voi verts (I have green eyes). If your eyes were blue, you might say o ai i voi celescj (I have blue eyes). These adjectives in masculine singular form are vert (green) and celest (light blue). If your eyes were dark, you might say o ai i voi scûrs (I have dark eyes); if they were light, you might say o ai i voi clârs (I have light eyes). If a person’s eyes were protruding, you might say of him al à i voi infûr (his eyes stick out). If he had good eyesight, you might say al à i voi bogns (he has good eyes). The masculine singular form of bogns is bon (good).

The eyelid is called la palpiere in Friulian; the eyebrow is called la cee. The plural forms of these two 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 could 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 person might have freckles on this area of the face; a freckle in Friulian is called une pivicje. Al à lis pivicjis, then, means he has freckles, where lis pivicjis is the plural form. If a person has freckles, then he also surely is 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. A nose might be described as piçul (small), grues (big), prominent (prominent), infûr (sticking out), sfracaiât (flattened), acuilin (hooked; literally, aquiline, of an eagle), sfilât (pointed), stuart (crooked). Al à il nâs stuart, for instance, means he has a crooked nose.

Under the nose, you find the mouth; in Friulian, the mouth is called la bocje. A small mouth can be described as une bocje piçule; a wide mouth, une bocje largje. The masculine singular form of largje is larc. On the outside of the mouth are found the lips: i lavris. The upper lip is called il lavri parsore; the lower lip is called il lavri sot. Inside the mouth are found the teeth and the tongue; the Friulian for tooth is il dint, and for tongue is la lenghe. The plural of il dint is i dincj (teeth). Of a person with buck teeth, you might say 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 does not grow 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 used 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 a person had a small chin, you might say of him 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, you might say al à il barbuç che al ven infûr (he has a chin that 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 person whose ears are prominent, you might say al à lis orelis infûr (his ears stick out) or al à lis orelis che a vegnin infûr (he has ears that stick out). If he had trouble hearing, you might say al è dûr di orele (he is hard of hearing).