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"terrible bird"?



I'm not sure if it was Terry Colvin or Matt Wehman who was asking for
the Latin for "terrible bird" (or why this information was wanted).
The Latin word for bird is, of course, avis.  "Terrible" can be
translated by terribilis, horribilis, dirus, immanis, or several other
words.  There may be a Latin account somewhere of Hercules and the
Stymphalian birds which even calls them "terrible birds."  The Latin
for lizard, meanwhile, is lacerta (which is where the English word
ultimately comes from).  Anyway, "dinosaur" is from Greek, not Latin,
and the "deinos" part doesn't really mean "terrible" (as someone
may have pointed out recently on this list) but rather "mighty" or
"powerful."  (The related Greek word "deinotes" means either
"terribleness" or "cleverness"...considering how quickly the
Velociraptors figured out door handles in JP, maybe we should call
them "clever lizards"...)

Or was the question about a bird that tastes terrible?

George Pesely
peselyg@lynx.apsu.edu