PRONUNCIATION: (huh-MUHNG-kyuh-luhs, HO-)

MEANING: noun:
1. A diminutive human being.
2. A fully formed, miniature human being that was earlier believed to be present in a sperm or an egg.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin homunculus (little man), diminutive of ho-mo* (man). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dhghem- (earth), which also gave us allochthonous, autochthonous, chameleonic, chthonic, disinter, and inhume. Earliest documented use: 1656.

ROMUNCULUS - a tiny model of an Italian city on the Tiber river, small enough to build in a day


And as an aside - does anyone else find it strange that in Latin, to go from "-US" to "-I" is to change from singular to plural, but in English "US" to "I" changes plural to singular?