[Generally it has been coined as] Obamadon

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 17 00:47:36 UTC 2012

I'm waiting for "Bigbadwolfodon."


On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 7:16 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: [Generally it has been coined as] Obamadon
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> On Dec 16, 2012, at 4:01 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
> >> Researchers Name Millions-Year-Old Lizard _after President’s Name_
> >
> > That's true. But, how? [[obama][don]]? What does _don_ mean, in taxonomy?
> it's a variant of -odont, the 'tooth' stem, with the -a of "Obama"
> swallowing up the -o
> from Michael Quinion's affixes site, under -odont:
> The ending -odont appears in adjectives that refer to the type of teeth
> possessed by animals. Examples are labyrinthodont, having the enamel deeply
> folded to form a labyrinthine structure; bunodont (Greek bounos, mound),
> having molar teeth with crowns in the form of rounded or conical cusps;
> diphyodont (Greek dis, twice, plus phuein, come into being), having two
> sets of teeth during its development, as humans do.
> ... Words ending in -odon have the same sense: mastodon, a large extinct
> elephant-like mammal of the Miocene to Pleistocene epochs (Greek mastos,
> breast, because it has nipple-shaped tubercles on the crowns of its molar
> teeth); iguanodon, a large herbivorous dinosaur of the early to mid
> Cretaceous period, named thus because its teeth resemble those of the
> iguana.
> arnold
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