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Re: Name derivations
In a message dated 96-01-06 02:33:27 EST, firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve Jackson) writes:
>The comment on Torosaurus' name is appreciated. I saw yet another
>derivation offered, this one in the Sattler "Illustrated Dinosaur
>Dictionary" - "piercING lizard," allegedly a reference to the horns.
Marsh notes that the reference to piercing derives from the holes. Here is an
excerpt from a manuscript I'm working on concerning the etymologies of
Marsh generally provided derivations for his names in special lists
published every few years, but unfortunately he died before getting around to
Torosaurus. Nevertheless, in 1896 he wrote, "The open perforations in the
parietal, which have suggested the name Torosaurus, readily separate this
genus from all the gigantic species hitherto known in the Ceratopsidae..."
(Dinosaurs of North America: p. 216). In mathematics, a torus is an unbroken
curved surface with a single hole, such as the surface of a doughnut. This is
related to the architectural term torus: the convex circular molding that
sticks out at the base or top of a column. And this in turn comes from the
Latin noun torus, "a rounded protuberance." Latin words possibly related to
torus include the verb torquere, to turn or twist, from which come such
well-known English words as distort, retort, torment, torque, tort, and
torture. The word torus may ultimately be related to the Greek tornos,
meaning simply "a rounded object." As Marsh noted, the parietal bones of
Torosaurus--the major part of the enormous, flaring frill at the back of the
skull--are each perforated by a large, round opening.