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Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:54 pm
by Dr. Goodword
• oocephalus •

Pronunciation: Oh-oh! sef-ê-lês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: An egghead, a person or animal with an egg-like head.

Notes: You might have noticed that we like to explore scientific language for words needed in our everyday conversation. Egghead has taken on such a pejorative sense, we need to find a more civil term for the concept. Oocephalus seems appropriate since only egg-heads (that is, oocephali) will understand it. Notice that booth Os are pronounced: not like oo in kook but like the interjection for an accident, "Oh-oh!". "Having an egg-like head" is pronounced the same way as the noun but is spelled oocephalous. You may use oocephali or oocephaluses as a plural (oocephali prefer the former).

In Play: We have been trying to encourage less offensive speech and even if this word is not less offensive, at least it is less comprehensible: "The R. Cain I know is a nerdy oocephalus who spends all his time in the library collecting dust like the books there." We replace the fun of the insult with the fun of pronouncing this word: "Some oocephalus who has never done real work wrote the safety rules requiring (1) a construction vehicle to make an audible signal when it backs up and (2) all workmen wear earplugs on construction sites."

Word History: This Good Word is a medical creation from Greek oion "egg" + kephale "head" and a Latin suffix. Oion came from the Proto-Indo-Europeanroot awi "bird", which also underlies Lavin avis "bird", origin of English avian and aviary. Modern Persian (Farsi), spoken in Iran, is also an Indo-European language distantly related to English. The Old Iranian word for "egg" was something like avya, which underwent several changes before it was borrowed into Turkish as havyar. This word was borrowed by English as caviar, the name of those salty fish eggs with the even saltier price.

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:08 am
by Perry
A good pseudonym for an author of technical data could be (you guessed it!) O. O. Cephalus.

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:33 am
by gailr
And the trojan horse he rode in on, Boocephalus.

Humpty Dumpty

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:45 am
by eberntson
So what do you call a person or critter that has an egg shaped body? Like Humpty Dumpty, before his great fall. Or could be just call him an oocephalus anyway?


Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:41 pm
by melissa
I would say oomorph and that would be polite. But in the case of Humpty, he's all head anyway, I think. Or was ...

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:52 pm
by eberntson
... a crack head!?

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:39 pm
by Perry
... crack head!?

Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:08 am
by melissa
And the trojan horse he rode in on, Boocephalus.
gailr ftw. I like your way of thinking.
but think of the children, eh I always hated humpty anyway!
a role model, fell off a wall. woohoo! let me try