[Generally it has been coined as] Obamadon

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Dec 16 19:33:12 UTC 2012

On Dec 16, 2012, at 2:19 PM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:

> http://arnoldzwicky.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/obamadon/
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

I first read about Obamadon in an article (barely) translated from the French that demonstrates the continuing risibility of attempts at auto-translation. (I started out being struck by the concept of naming something after someone's name, and then got sucked in by the rest of the article. I'm still puzzling out the observation that "It [the lizard] is only less than 30cm in length, which has been named after Obama.")


Researchers Name Millions-Year-Old Lizard after President’s Name

Yale and Harvard University researchers have published their latest study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which includes the discovery of a 65-million-year old lizard.

It is an ancient, insect-eating lizard, which is too small in size. The researchers say that the creature had been found in the Montana badlands. It is only less than 30cm in length, which has been named after Obama.

Generally, it has been coined as Obamadon; while scientifically, the lizard has got the name Obamadon gracilis. The reason as told is the lizard's elaborate teeth along with three cusps on all teeth and its slender jaw. It has been informed that odon in Latin means `tooth' and gracilis means `slender'.

The lizard likely ate insects and the researchers add that there is nothing political behind giving it the name after Barack Obama. Varied schools and streets also have their names after the US President.

"Obama's namesake was identified based on jaw fossils from Montana's Hell Creek Formation, with tall, slender teeth with large central cusps separated from small accessory cusps by lingual grooves", Longrich and his colleagues said.

Fossils around the nation were re-examined so as to figure out where lizards went as well as what happened to snakes when dinosaurs started ending.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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