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| Dear Loxias,
I'm trying to find the English translation of several Latin words, which I
cannot locate in any Latin-English dictionaries.
The words in question are:
Could you help me translate these, or direct me to someone who could? I cannot afford to pay for this favor, but your assistance would bring you great blessings in the afterlife.
Thank you for your time.
With Kindest Regards,
|Dear Dr D
I don't believe in an afterlife - so this must be pure altruism! As an ornithologist and Latin scholar you have come to the right place:
*Strigiformes - entities formed/shaped like screech owls
> Striges - screech owls (singular strix) - Latin, but derived from Greek
> *Strigidae - sons of the screech owl
> *Tytonidae - sons of the night owl
> *Striginae - entities (female) resembling screech owls
> *Tytoninae - enties (female) resembling night owls
> Tyto - When barn owls were placed in a separate family by Billberg in
1828, somewhere he found the exceedingly rare Greek word tyto - it occurs
only once, in Hesychius, an ancient encyclopedia, where it's glossed as
> Otus - surprisingly the name scops is a Greek word for a small kind of owl (I once thought it was a name like Tengmalm's owl) - but otus is equally good Greek - being used by Aristotle for an "eared" owl (it derives from the
Greek word for ear - as in otorhinolaryngologist).
> Asio - a Latin word this time, used twice by Pliny to mean a horned owl.
The words marked * are not real Latin - I've translated them though as if
they were - doubtless you know the scientific meanings. The namers of owls
seem to have had problems - strix (tawny owl) undoubtedly was the common
name for a barn owl in Latin (onomatpoeia) - but it seems a bit hard that
the Barn Owl has ended up with some obscure name while the Tawny makes off
with the appropriate one! Also the Little Owl (Greek glaux) - the symbol of
Athens is commemorated in the name Athene - but what happened to glaux?