Pica



[pahy-kuh] /ˈpaɪ kə/

noun, Printing.
1.
a 12-point type of a size between small pica and English.
2.
the depth of this type size as a unit of linear measurement for type, pages containing type, etc.; one sixth of an inch.
3.
a 12-point type, widely used for typewriters, having 10 characters to the inch.
Compare (def 4).
[pahy-kuh] /ˈpaɪ kə/
noun, Pathology.
1.
an abnormal appetite or craving for substances that are not fit to eat, as chalk or clay, common in malnutrition, pregnancy, etc.
/ˈpaɪkə/
noun
1.
Also called em, pica em. a printer’s unit of measurement, equal to 12 points or 0.166 ins
2.
(formerly) a size of printer’s type equal to 12 point
3.
a typewriter type size having 10 characters to the inch
/ˈpaɪkə/
noun
1.
(pathol) an abnormal craving to ingest substances such as clay, dirt, or hair, sometimes occurring during pregnancy, in persons with chlorosis, etc
n.

“size of type of about six lines to the inch” (12 point), 1580s, probably from pica, name of a book of rules in Church of England for determining holy days (late 15c. in Anglo-Latin), probably from Latin pica “magpie” (see pie (n.2)); the book so called perhaps from the color and the “pied” look of the old type on close-printed pages. The type size was that generally used to print ordinals.

“pathological craving for substance unfit for food” (such as chalk), 1560s, from Medieval Latin pica “magpie” (see pie (n.2)), probably translating Greek kissa, kitta “magpie, jay,” also “false appetite.” The connecting notion may be the birds’ indiscriminate feeding.

pica pi·ca (pī’kə)
n.
An abnormal craving or appetite for nonfood substances, such as dirt, paint, or clay.

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