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Troodon etymology/pronunciation



From: Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org
Subject: Troodon etymology/pronunciation

I'm afraid I have to take issue with the proposed 
etymology "gnaw, chew" and the pronunciation TROO-oh-don 
for Leidy's Troodon.  Leidy's etymology is almost 
certainly Greek troo "wound, injure" rather than Greek 
trogo "gnaw, chew," thus "wounding tooth" rather 
than "gnawing tooth." According to my understanding , the 
preferred pronunciation of Troodon is indeed TROH-o-don 
when the traditional English method for pronouncing Latin 
is applied. I don't quite follow how TROO (pronounced 
like "true" I assume) can be justified for the first 
syllable.  Leidy clearly formed this name by combining the 
stem tro- from Greek troo (spelled with two omegas (long 
o's)) meaning "I wound" + Greek -odon "tooth. The 
first "o" in Troodon is long and would be pronounced 
like "oh" in English, not "oo." The second "o" is short 
and would be more like "uh" in normal English speech. The 
last "o" is long in Greek odon, but by convention is 
pronounced short in English.  A long "oo" sound from Greek 
would only come from the Greek diphthong ou, which is 
latinized as long "u" as in Greek soukhos, latinized as 
suchus "crocodile."  

My Greek dictionaries indicate troo means "wound, injure" 
and is a radical form of Greek titrosko "wound, injure," 
and is probably related to toreo "pierce." As far as I 
know, the word root is NOT related to Greek trogo "gnaw, 
chew" (infinitive trogein). If Leidy had intended "gnawing 
tooth" as the meaning, I'm sure he would have spelled 
it "Trogodon" instead.