Grunions & Actoids

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 29 13:15:31 UTC 2000

>    From NEW YORK PRESS, November 29-December 5, 2000, pg. 2, col. 2:
>    The annual _New York_ "expose" on ecstasy use by Silicon Alley grunions...
>(Grunions?  What happened to grunts?  OED has "grunion," but it's a fish--ed.)

Not just ANY fish, though.  Grunion are notorious for popping up in
huge bunches in the ocean at night, and more specifically (as the
AHD4 reminds us), a grunion is "a small fish that spawns at night
along beaches during high tides of spring and summer"--I remember the
red tides in southern California attributed to the fact that the
grunion were running.   The fish's name comes from a (Spanish) verb
meaning 'grumble' or 'grunt'.  Perhaps among these three activities
comes the decision to refer to the Silicon Alley partiers as grunion.
(I prefer the zero plural myself.)


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