Faucet handles

From Joe Transue on Facebook this morning, this piece of hardware from the Pfister company:

(#1) Joe: WTV?

In three languages, a head noun meaning ‘handle’ with the modifier Verve (prenominal in English, postnominal in French and Spanish): Verve handle, poignée Verve, manija Verve.

One reader took Verve to be the noun verve: ‘vigor and spirit or enthusiasm’ (NOAD) and played with that:

Rarely do you see such lively, talented, energetic & animated handles. You are lucky to have found one. Makes lavatory stops much more enjoyable!

But Joe took Verve to be an error, and appealed to me as an authority on errors in speech and writing:

Old post… But Arnold Zwicky do you have any idea what is up with this? I think this is a seriously strange error. At first I thought it might be some sort of trade name for the part, but I’m about 99% sure they mean VALVE.

But no. As you might have expected from the form Verve in three different languages, not an error — but the name of a type of faucet handle. From the wonderful world of hardware terminology.

A Pfister handle from Home Depot:

(#2) Verve faucet handle up close

This OEM (original equipment manufacturer) 940-333 New style Verve large replacement handle. This genuine part includes polish chrome single handle, set screw and new diverter replacement button. Used to replace diverter handle in tub and shower faucets.

There are a number of variations on the general scheme. I don’t know how this style got the name Verve, but there’s a different style with the equally opaque name Windsor, plus other styles of faucet handles with more descriptive names: Cross, Lever, Tee (or T), and Wheel.

 

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