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LAGOPODOUS

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LAGOPODOUS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu May 26, 2005 11:02 pm

• lagopodous •

Pronunciation: læ-gah-pê-dês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Rabbit-footed, having feet like a rabbit. 2. Having feet thickly covered with feathers or fur, like the Alpine ptarmigans (Lagopus alpinus) in the photo.

Notes: Here is a word that you might think peripheral enough to omit from your vocabulary. However, it has a slightly more specific meaning than mere rabbit-footed, a word I am sure you find great use for. A creature (especially a ptarmigan) with feet like a rabbit is a lagopus—and probably a sour puss, too, if he isn't a rabbit. Lagopodously would be in a shaggy-footed manner.

In Play: I know what you are thinking: why would any normal human being need this word? But I was frustrated for years at the lack of a word to describe my aunt, who loved flopping lagopodously around the house in her bunny slippers. If you look around, you'll find places where it plays well, too: "Jerry Attrick looks like a lagopodous leprechaun, lunging through the snow in his green hat, outdated ski suit, and oversized snowshoes."

Word History: Today's Good Word is made up of Greek lagos "rabbit" + pod- (pous) "foot". Lagos is a distant relation of English slack, sharing a common ancestor *(s)leg-/*(s)log- "slack, loose". This ancient word had a loose [s] itself that often fell off in the process of historical development, hence, Latin laxus "slack, loose" and English slack. The semantic connection between "slack" and bunnies lies in those slack, floppy ears on bunnies' heads.
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Postby KatyBr » Fri May 27, 2005 3:19 pm

I'm sure I will have multiple uses for this word,daily.

As an aside the phoenetically spelled word spepalina is an Indian word for the same thing.

Katy
a friend named her daughter Spepalina because she has largish feet. Specifically it means snow-shoe rabbit.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun May 29, 2005 11:24 am

Interesting to note that the metaphoric use of this word (and the Amerindian couterpart mentioned by Katy) seems to be exclusively restricted to the floppy, furry nature of the feet themselves, rather than to the speed and agility with which rabbits use them....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby KatyBr » Sun May 29, 2005 1:00 pm

To the contrary, Henri, The Indian regard for animals is ledgendary, The name was given the child to Honor the animal's most outstanding atribute. You don't really think her daughter was meant by her parents to be held up to constant ridicule?

Katy
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue May 31, 2005 1:12 pm

Let us hope then that Spepalina's feet are not only largish, but also fleet !...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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