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A non-functioning gargoyle is known as what?



  Grotesque by Nathaniel Hitch on the outside of 2 Temple Place. Embankment, London
Weglinde Gordon Lawson / Wikimedia

Answer: A grotesque

Although the term "gargoyle" is commonly used for any type of statue-like ornament that traditionally adorns the corners and pinnacles of buildings. A gargoyle is a functional gem that diverts water away from a building ̵

1; the word is French for throat and also the source of the modern word "gargle".

Gargoyles were commonly called screaming creatures, demons, or animals, precisely because their open mouths were practical endpoints for the gutters that drain the water from the roof.

A statue that looks like a gargoyle but has only a decorative function is referred to as Grotesque – traditionally the same design as a gargoyle, but without the practical use of diverting water.


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