[Ads-l] Not in the OED -- perhaps with good reason

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 11 20:01:07 UTC 2022

"Throuple" is well-established in certain um...circles. Or triangles.  By
no means nonce, although I expect some last longer than others. Google it.

I like "triet", for what might also be called a "mélange à trois". Not to
be confused with...


On Mon, Apr 11, 2022 at 3:37 PM George Thompson <george.thompson at nyu.edu>

> Words from 2 articles in recent NYTimes.
> 1: snarge; bits of bird that have gone through a jet engine
> "Since its formation, the Feather Identification Lab has worked with the
> Federal Aviation Administration to make air travel safer. Using the
> Smithsonian’s vast collection of feathers, Dr. Dove and other experts can
> take a piece of “snarge,” what they call bits of bird that have gone
> through a jet engine, and figure out which species it belonged to. Then,
> airport managers and wildlife biologists can work together to make the
> facilities less attractive to those species."
> The Shakespearean Tall Tale That Shaped How We See Starlings
> April 11, 2022
> In addition, this article studies the notion that starlings were introduced
> to America by a crank who wanted every bird mentioned in Shakespeare's
> plays to be found in the U. S.  Apparently, there was such a crank, but he
> was not the only person to release starling here, nor even the first.  I
> had been thinking that the genetic makeup of American starlings would be
> worth studying, if they are all descended from the few pairs the crank
> released.  But it seems that they are not.
> 2: triet: a synchronized call uttered by three birds.
> "Suhridam Roy, a graduate student at the foundation, visited four of these
> trios and played recordings of other crane pairs singing their territorial
> duets. In response, each trio performed its own synchronized call. The
> scientists called it a triet."
> These Birds Form a Trio, but Probably Not a Throuple
> April 9, 2022
> The cranes in question are the sarus crane, of India.  A pair of birds are
> often joined by a third bird, either male or female, who helps to gather
> food and otherwise raise the baby cranes.
> The article, in its on-line version, offers a ten-second video of three
> cranes
> singing.
> It's on record that among other species of birds a third bird will join in
> raising the young of the season, but it seems that the third bird is always
> a sibling from the previous brood.  These cranes are unusual in that the
> nanny-bird isn't an immediate relative, and that the relationship may
> continue over more than one year.
> I suppose that "throuple" is a nonce-word, meant as a joke.  It's not in
> the OED, anyway.
> "triet" might be a joking nonce-word, too, but at least it's attributed to
> scientists, not to the headline writer.
> --
> George A. Thompson
> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
> Univ. Pr., 1998.
> But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
> your lowly tomb. . .
> L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112
> The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool.  (Here's a
> picture of his great-grandfather.)
> http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/james-gillray/an-excrescence---a-fungus-alias-a-toadstool-upon-a-dunghill/3851
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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