Sunday, March 7, 2010

Animal Adjectives - Random Trivia Answers

  • A1) Bee. The Latin apis means bee. Have you had the avian and apian allocution with your kids yet?
  • A2) Whale. The adjective "cetaceous" is also used, not to be confused with the Cretaceous ("chalky") geologic period during which the dinosaurs roamed.
  • A3) Dove (or pigeon). The name of Columbine High School in Colorado refers to a purple flower that looks like the bird.
  • A4) Rabbit (or hare). The term "leverine" can also be used to specifically refer to a young hare ("leveret").
  • A5) Wolf. The modifier can also refer to a genus of plants of the pea family, but the context should usually give away which meaning is intended.
  • A6) Rat (or mouse). The makers of Murine eye drops clearly hope that nobody associates their product with rodents (Prestige Brands does not publicly state whether they test their products on animals or not).
  • A7) Sheep. The Latin ovis means sheep. When food is being discussed, the "ov-" prefix is more likely to refer to eggs (Latin ovum or ova).
  • A8) Pig. The word "pork" also derives from the Latin porcus.
  • A9) Bat. The Greek pteron means "wing" (e.g., "pterodactyl" means "wing fingers").
  • A10) Toad (or frog). The adjective is also used medically to refer to the underside of the tongue.
  • A11) Bear. The constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor are supposed to resemble big and small bears.
  • A12) Fox. The adjective was taken almost directly from the Latin (vulpinus, with vulpis being the noun) in the early 17th century.

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