• turdiform •
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: Shaped like a thrush; resembling a thrush.
Notes: If you would feel a little awkward using this funny word in conversations with your friends, there are two other variants with the same meaning, turdoid and turdine. All these adjectives can also mean "belonging to the family turdus", as do the song-thrush (Turdus musicus) and Santa?s favorite, the mistletoe thrush (Turdus viscivorus), among others. If you are a genuine thrush-fancier, you will want to keep your thrushes in a specially constructed turdarium. However, if you put other varieties in with your thrushes, you can?t call it that any more.
In Play: This is a good word with which to attract attention to yourself in discussions with bird-watchers: "I saw an interesting little turdiform flyer in my backyard yesterday, but it was green and pileated. Have any idea what it might have been?" The many types of birds that resemble thrushes provide plenty of work for this word: "Do you happen to know the name of the lovely little turdiform creature sitting on the birdfeeder right now?"
Word History: This rather startling word comes from a Latin compound based on turdus "thrush" + forma "form". The root of turdus started out as trozdos "thrush", but in Latin the [r] and the vowel changed places. Among the Germanic languages these two sounds held their positions and produced English thrush, German Drossel "thrush", with the diminutive suffix -el, and the Russian word drozd "thrush".
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