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In a message dated 4/13/99 7:48:03 AM EST, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< Does anyone know the meaning of 'cluniculus'.. as in _Ornithodesmus
cluniculus_? I'm stumped on this one. >>
This one is right in my dictionary: cluniculus: "little rump" (diminutive of
clunis: "buttocks, rump").
But Toby White replied:
<<You will probably think I'm kidding. In fact, I hope I've made a mistake.
However, assuming the roots are Latin, the closest I can come is "asshole".
That is, its a combination of two similar Latin words (clunis, culus), both
which refer to the human posterior. This sort of redundancy is a pretty
way of expressing emphasis in IE languages, e.g. "super-duper," "mishmash."
Thus, not just "butt," but "asshole." If correct, how did this get by the
ICZN? Possibly could be construed as a Greek diminutive of some kind
to a geographical reference (Cluny?), but I'm just guessing on this.>>
"Asshole" is close, but just a bit off target, unfortunately. Since the type
specimen is a partial pelvis (forget which part: sacrum?), "little rump"
makes more sense.