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#5431 - 08/19/00 06:44 AM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

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#5432 - 08/19/00 08:00 AM Re: Is this the ultimate paradox?
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Interesting, Max!
Did Anu list this one under the theme, words that are their
own antonym?


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#5433 - 08/20/00 01:41 PM Re: Is this the ultimate paradox?
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
I'd like to know what a hippopotamus has to do with long words.


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#5434 - 08/20/00 10:54 PM Re: Is this the ultimate paradox?
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
what does hippopotamus have to do with long words? why, nothing. the affix does conjure up the image of whopping big though, as does the other affix monstro-, when attached to a word that already refers to big words.
-ron obvious


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#5435 - 08/21/00 05:25 PM Re: Is this the ultimate paradox?
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
If "hippo" means big, and "pot", related to potable, means water, then that would make sense to me that hippopotamus, roughly translated, means "big water animal".

In German, though, hippopotamus is Nilpferd, which basically just means "horse of the Nile". . .


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#5436 - 08/22/00 12:20 AM Re: Is this the ultimate paradox?
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Unfortunately for your theory, Jazzoctopus, hippopotamus comes from the Greek hippos = horse and potamos = river. Hippopotamus therefore equals river horse. Quite close to the German in fact.

Presumably the Ancient Egyptians knew about hippopotami before they knew about horses. Did they call horses land hippopotami?

Bingley
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