|In a message dated 05/14/2002 11:34:49 AM Pacific Daylight Time, email@example.com writes:|
Forgive a newcomer's ignorance, but to me, a totem is either a carving,
usually wooden, representing someone's ancestry; or a "spirit guide." Would
this new use of the word be more of a flexible trellis, suitable for soft
Your first meaning, a carving of someone's ancestry, is the basis for our meaning: a "totem," in horticulture, is a pole -- which reminded some people of a totem pole -- intended to substitute for a tree trunk for a plant that climbs by adventitious roots.