Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#207978 - 11/11/12 10:37 AM Shark adjective  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
gaijin Offline
gaijin  Offline

Joined: Nov 2012
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 12:51 PM Re: Shark adjective [Re: gaijin]  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,295
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel
BranShea  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,295
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 01:25 PM Re: Shark adjective [Re: gaijin]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel
zmjezhd  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
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 09:41 PM Re: Shark adjective [Re: zmjezhd]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,814
Alex Williams Offline
Alex Williams  Offline

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,814
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.


Last edited by Alex Williams; 11/15/12 01:58 AM.

Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
DavidOrigami, RichEngle, Stosh2010, CarolWilliamson, Farscape07
9045 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 97 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 9,120
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.014s Queries: 14 (0.003s) Memory: 2.6685 MB (Peak: 2.7610 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2018-04-23 17:46:07 UTC