WOTY? beelzebufo

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Feb 21 13:44:50 UTC 2008

"Turtle" and "tortoise" similarly overlap, though land-dwelling species are more likely to be called "tortoises."

  _Beelzebufo_ also has the boffo alliteration that _*Beelzerana_ lacks.


"Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Joel S. Berson"
Subject: Re: WOTY? beelzebufo

At 2/20/2008 06:01 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>But "bufo" means 'toad', not 'frog', in both classical and Linnean Latin.
>Rana atque Bufo amici sunt.
>m a m

I won't argue about the Latin. But I quote Wikipedia on taxonomy:

Toad refers to a number of species of amphibians. A distinction is
often made between frogs and toads by their appearance, prompted by
the convergent adaptation among so-called toads to dry environments,
which often entails a brown skin for camouflage which is also dry and
leathery for better water retention. Many so-called toads also
burrow, which requires further adaptations. However, these
adaptations merely reflect the environment a species has adapted to,
and are not reliable indicators of its ancestry. Since taxonomy
reflects only evolutionary relationships, any distinction between
frogs and toads is irrelevant to their classification.

For instance, many members of the families Bombinatoridae,
Discoglossidae, Pelobatidae, Rhinophrynidae, Scaphiopodidae, and some
species from the Microhylidae family are commonly called "toads".
However, the only family exclusively given the common name "toad" is
Bufonidae, the "true toads". Some "true frogs" of the genus Rana have
also adapted to burrowing habits, while the species within the toad
genus Atelopus are conversely known by the common name "harlequin frogs".

I note that in the few hours since I nominated him Beelzebufo has
increased his presence on Google by 70%. Is that momentum, or
what? (Still no presence in Google Books, but I expect a campaign
book shortly.)


>On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 4:34 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > Beelzebufo: the 10-pound, bowling-ball sized (and apparently shaped,
> > although some say "squashed beach ball"), armor-plated, horned fossil
> > frog from Madagascar.
> >
> > 28,000 Google hits (in less than 3 days from its public debut?), but
> > none so far in Books or Scholar. (Are there WOTY subcategories?)
> >
> > Press release and "photo" at
> > http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=111119&govDel=USNSF_51.
> > (Download high-resolution JPG if you'd like him on your office wall.)
> >
> > Joel
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>Mark Mandel
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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