(chiefly of minerals)
having a shape reminiscent of a cluster of grapes.

Late 18th century: from Greek botruoeidēs (from botrus ‘bunch of grapes’) + -al.


The geode cracked open to reveal a bunch of botryoidal agate crystals looking like a cluster of grapes. I’m guessing that might be the origin of the shooter marble known as the “aggie” (which early on was actually made from agate mineral).



I was born in Texas, in a house my parents had purchased for a retirement home. We occasionally traveled back and forth from there to Chicago where my parents ran a china, glassware and tableware (knives, forks, spoons, etc.) store. When I was still very young, still not speaking full sentences, my mom and I returned from a trip to Chicago. My mother told me this story.

As soon as we got into the house, I rushed to the living room, repeating “mambluche, mambluche” over and over again. Mom, naturally didn’t understand. She wondered if I needed to go to the bathroom and forgotten where it was. Directing me there, against my childish wishes, she heard me continue the insistent “mambluche, mambluche”. I succeeded in dragging her back to the living room and pointed to the closet there. “Mambluche, mambluche!”

She opened the closet door and I pointed up to the upper shelf above the coat space and I danced about. “Mambluche! mambluche!”

Still puzzled, she reached up and realized I was after the cake tin. She pulled it down, opened it and set it on the floor. Immediately I got to work pulling out the marbles and pushing them gleefully around the floor.

Kids may not know the right way to say what they want, but they do KNOW what they want.


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