This morning I attempted to use the word furl in a sentence. The phrase I intended was “to furl my eyebrows”. I was chatting online with friends. These are smart friends who would already know what “furl” means. I didn’t want to appear preverbal, so I performed a quick search online just to ensure I was using it properly. I suppose I was not disappointed.
By definition, to furl something means “to fold or roll something up and put it away”. The definition alone wasn’t helping me here. How does one roll up and put away their eyebrows? I know that’s a colloquial expression… don’t I?
On to the quick image search. The results for “furled eyebrows”, as expected, were quite the assortment, and surprisingly contained a lot of images of drag makeup eyebrows. Really fierce, but not really helpful.
Getting exasperated, I did find a website that offered several examples of using furled in a sentence. “Jackpot”, I thought. Well, if by “jackpot” I mean “I’m now more confused than when I started”, then that’s a most fair estimation. Here was the sample sentence to help me understand the mysterious context of furl:
Looking into Melvin’s chest, Langley saw the potato heart and furled his brow.
Super helpful. Oh yes! I get it! If I were to look inside someone’s chest and see a potato for a heart, now I totally understand the furling action my brows would be making as I react to such a site. This is a perfectly textbook response to such a common activity in life.
Let’s fast forward to the sanity part. The word I was looking for is furrow. That’s when your eyebrows descend and bunch up as your face reacts in confusion or concern. They aren’t rolled away or folded over or anything else unseemly that someone with a potato heart might do with them. I’m illiterate. Thanks for playing.