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Re: Lythronax argestes, the Gore King of the Southwest

From: Ben Creisler

To get a bit technical here, in Ancient Greek the word anax "king,
ruler, master" is found with two combining forms as the final part of
a compound word or name.

In Homer's Iliad Hector's son is named Astyanax, meaning "king of the
city" from Greek asty "city" and anax.  Other examples include
hippianax "king of horsemen," euryanax "wide-ruling."

However, an alternate combining form used the long Greek omega as
-onax. The omega here is the result of combining o + a and is NOT the
same as the short "omicron" often used as a combining vowel in Greek

oikonax "master of the house"

kheironax "master of the hands, craftsman" -- later used to mean a surgeon

Neo-Latin zoological names have used both forms.


Drepananax Sharpe 1894 "sickle master" (a bird)
Potamanax Pilsbry 1893 "river ruler" (a mollusc)
Saurophaganax Chure "king of the reptile eaters" (a dinosaur)

Chironax Andersen 1912 "hand master" (a bat)
Empidonax Cabanis 1855 "fly master" (a bird (flycatcher))
Oreonax Thomas 1927  "mountain ruler" (a mammal)
Pelonax Cope 1874 "mud ruler" (a mammal)

In principle, at least, the accent in Lithronax should go on the "o"
(being long in Greek)--but the press release indicates LY-thro-nax, on
the first syllable.

Dictionaries and bird-watching books indicate Empidonax as either
em-PID-o-naks or em-pi-DOH-naks--so take your pick with Lythronax.

On Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 9:39 AM, David Marjanovic
<david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:
> Nice, nice. Juuuuust...
>> Etymology.
>> *Lythronax*, from lythron (Greek), gore, and anax (Greek), king; and 
>> argestes (Greek), the Homeric wind from the southwest, in
> reference to the geographic location of the specimen within North America.
> ...That doesn't give *Lythr_o_nax*. It would give "Lythr_a_nax" if anax were 
> a regular word. It actually gives "Lythroanax", because anax behaves as if it 
> began with a consonant. (It began with a w in Mycenaean times; later, most 
> Greek dialects dropped this sound in all words, but it kept behaving as if it 
> were there -- much like the h at the beginning of some French words.)