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RANIVOROUS

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RANIVOROUS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri May 27, 2005 11:45 pm

• ranivorous •

Pronunciation: ræ-ni-vê-rês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Frog-eating.

Notes: You probably thought this word applied only to a small circle of animals. Guess what? Americans and Europeans are as ranivorous as any animal—a ranivorousness we may owe to the French, who long ago discovered the delicacy of flavor in the legs of the bull frog. The adverb would be ranivorously and the noun ranivorousness rather than ranivorosity. Creatures, like us, that eat frogs are ranivores. Anything shaped like a frog is said to be raniform.

In Play: Biologists are worried about the world-wide disappearance of frogs that cannot be attributed to ranivorous species. Many believe that frogs are a sentinel species, an early warning of a failure in our ecosystem that will mean more mosquitoes and other insects, and fewer ranivorous animals like minks, otters, raccoons, and snakes. Why are the frogs disappearing? We are sticking to our original theory: Bigfoot (Sasquatch, Yeti, the Abominable Snowman) is ranivorous and is breeding.

Word History: Today's relatively Good Word comes from a compound based on Latin rana "frog" + vorare "swallow whole, devour" + ous, an adjective suffix. Rana is a descendant of the PIE root *rek- "bellow", which is also behind Latin rancare "to bellow" and Russian rech' "speech". Latin vorare apparently devolved from a PIE root like *gwor- with an initial [g] that got lost in Latin and Greek, where we find bi-brôskô "to devour". In Sanskrit, however, we find the [r] in girati "s/he gobbles" but with an initial [g], which could have produced, by natural rules, the [zh] in Russian zhreti "devour, gobble".
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Postby KatyBr » Sat May 28, 2005 10:44 am

Just on the close edge of the aqua tub I saw a tiny green frog clutching the edge, fast asleep, we have several of these in our yard and lots of the brown frogs, I'm careful to step aside for these friendly little bug eaters.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Sat May 28, 2005 1:04 pm

Which reminds me of when my aunt introduced me to the world of ranivorousness. I had no clue what I was eating until I asked her and she simply said "Frog's legs". She hadn't disclosed that information before because she knew I would have refrained from eating anything that "gross". Once or twice a year, we have rabbit but my little cousins still don't know what they're eating. My aunt thinks they would burst out crying if they knew we were eating a harmless and cute bunny.

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Postby KatyBr » Sat May 28, 2005 1:35 pm

I've never eated Amphibian, nor do I want to.

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Postby tcward » Sat May 28, 2005 6:55 pm

Somebody needs to write a cookbook or history of Louisiana cuisine called The Ranivorous Cajun...

-Tim :lol:
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Postby gailr » Mon May 30, 2005 6:18 pm

The Ranivorous Cajun
Sounds like a cable program, Tim.
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Postby yurifink » Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:21 pm

The Russian for 'gobble, devour' is 'zhratj', not 'zhreti' (in Ukrainian it's 'zherty'.)
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Postby yurifink » Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:01 pm

'Жрети' is a Church Slavonic word and means 'make a sacrifice to a god' what a 'жрец' (a priest) goes in for. The day the animal sacrifice was made was a meat-gobbling day in many early societies. So 'zhratj' and zhreti' are cognate.

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