cinquefoil
6 years ago No Comments

(pronounced SINGK-foyl or SANGK-foyl)

Pay attention how to say this one because it’s tricky. Anyone who has taken any Italian will want to throw some spin on it, but it won’t be correct. The way to remember what this word means is to break it down. “Foil” means “leaf,” and what you put in front of it describes how “leafy” the leaf is. You frequently see foils in regard to historic tracery, but some new artists and designers employ them too. Since “cinque” means five, a cinquefoil means a design with five foils. Put “tre” in front of foil, and now you can describe a design with three points. Same for “quatre” (four), “sex” (six — be careful on this one!) and “multi” (many). Now you know a few words by just learning about one. Ahhh, so that’s why mom always encouraged me to study Latin!