Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What is the word for "like a duck"?

The word is "anatine." One of them, anyway. Everybody knows the easy ones, like "bovine," "lupine," and "canine." If you're looking for more animal adjectives, look no further. If you look like a robin, you are "turdine." If you are dovelike, you are "columbine." Most of us, however, are "hominine."

3 comments:

George Haberberger said...

So I guess if something looks anatine,
acts anatine and walks anatine it is fuliguline.

Shocho said...

Nicely said, sir. Sometimes I wonder why we have so many words for the same thing. Who is in charge of this lexicon thing, anyway?

DavĂ­d said...

I learned that fact from The Far Side. Gary Larson did one cartoon where a guy is looking nervous and in the background we see a duck with binoculars looking at him. The caption is: "Anatidaephobia: The fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is staring at you."

In one of the collections in which this cartoon was published, Mr. Larson recounts his efforts in attempting to come up with a name for the phobia. He rejected silly sounding things like "duckalookaphobia" and instead decided to look up the scientific designation of the duck family. And only after it was published did he realize that almost no one would understand the anem.