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definition of Chicxulub



Worried that the Congressional efforts to clean up the Internet might
prevent us from mentioning Chicxulub, I tried to find out what the name
really means.  According to the _Enciclopedia de Mexico_ v. 3
(Mexico City, 1968):                        
CH'ICXULUB, Yuc. (maya yucateo, variante de _cha'cxulub_: _ch'ac_,
cortado con golpe; _xulub_, cuerno, asta:  "asta cortada de un tajo")

cuerno = horn; asta = shaft, horn, antler
so, a horn broken by a cut

According to one old Spanish-Maya dictionary (apparently compiled in
the 16th century), _xulub_ means "cuerno de venado o de otro animal"
(horn of a deer or other animal).  Some of the dictionaries show
Mayan words which start in ch- with another horizontal line through the
h, evidently for a sound different from the Castilian "ch" and that
may be why the encyclopedia has the spelling Ch'icxulub (that seems to
be the only word with the apostrophe after the ch).

Any Mayan experts on the list?  Does _xulub_ have any connotations that
Senator Exon wouldn't want us to be discussing on line?

George Pesely                           peselyg@lynx.apsu.edu
Champaign, Illinois