Words: formication, n.
Thursday 22 July 1999
Perhaps some indeed find that sex - good or bad - brings a sensation of ants crawling over the skin. From the Latin, formica, for ant, it gained currency in the 17th century (Livingstone later had a bad night owing to "the attack by the fighting battalions of a small species of formica"). But the Twenties coining of Formica as a work surface was ill-informed. "We've got Formica in the kitchen" sounds a matter for the health inspector - akin to the Nova motor-car which, in Spanish, means "won't go".
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