χοιροπίθηκος (Greek Word of the Week)

Compound words are just fun. German may be the best. They have about Zweihundertvierundachtzigtausend long compound words. But, Greek’s no slouch. And, the word for the week is a pretty creative one. Let’s say you were looking at a giraffe and trying to describe it. You think, “It’s like a cross between a camel (κάμηλος) and a leopard (πάρδαλις). Let’s call it a camel-leopard!” Well, that’s the Greek mind, and thus you have ἡ καμηλοπάρδαλις.

Well, what would you call a monkey (πίθηκος) with a pig’s (χοῖρος) face? Your mother-in-law? No, silly, you’d call it ὁ χοιροπίθηκος. And that’s your Greek Word of the Week.

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About Daniel R. Streett

Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Houston Baptist University
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One Response to χοιροπίθηκος (Greek Word of the Week)

  1. Grigoris says:

    Actually, “camelopard” used to be the English word for “giraffe,” but has now become obsolete. See the testimonia in the OED.

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