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#207978 - 11/11/12 05:37 AM Shark adjective
gaijin Offline

Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 1
We often hear the word "sharklike" to describe a person, but what is the Latin-derived word for this (in the way that leonine is used for lions)? ANy suggestions?

#207979 - 11/11/12 07:51 AM Re: Shark adjective [Re: gaijin]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5295
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Welcome! It shows from this Etymlogy Online site that not all words have met with Latin in the past:

shark (noun)
1560s, of uncertain origin; apparently the word and the first specimen were brought to London by Capt. John Hawkins's second expedition (landed 1565; see Hakluyt).
There is no proper name for it that I knowe, but that sertayne men of Captayne Haukinses doth call it a 'sharke' [handbill advertising an exhibition of the specimen, 1569]
The meaning "dishonest person who preys on others," though only attested from 1599 (sharker in this sense is from 1594), may be the original sense, later applied to the large, voracious marine fish. It is possibly from Ger. Schorck, a variant of Schurke "scoundrel, villain," agent noun of M.H.G. schürgen (Ger. schüren) "to poke, stir." The English word was applied to voracious or predatory persons, on the image of the fish, from 1707 (originally of pick-pockets); loan shark is attested from 1905. Sharkskin was used for binding books, etc. As the name of a type of fabric held to resemble it, it is recorded from 1932.
There is the ordinary Brown Shark, or sea attorney, so called by sailors; a grasping, rapacious varlet, that in spite of the hard knocks received from it, often snapped viciously at our steering oar. [Herman Melville, "Mardi"]

#207981 - 11/11/12 08:25 AM Re: Shark adjective [Re: gaijin]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
The terms for sharks in Latin are mostly borrowed from Greek: alopex (also called volpes marina 'sea-fox; thresher shark'), galeos, pistrix, or pistris 'sea-monster; whale; shark', rhina, and shatina, All of them are kind of rare, and one can borrow them and make them into adjectives in the normal way, but I doubt that anybody would know what you were talking about. I go for pistrix (which is also a homonym for a woman baker < pistor 'one [male] who grinds corn [US grain]'). So, pistrician.
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

#208027 - 11/14/12 04:41 PM Re: Shark adjective [Re: zmjezhd]
Alex Williams Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
The Phrontistery, which may be the creation of a fellow AWAD member (if so I forget who), has a wonderful list of "adjectives of relation." That list supplies the word selachian (of, like or pertaining to sharks or rays) as the answer you seek.


Edited by Alex Williams (11/14/12 08:58 PM)


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