https://www.duolingo.com/Cambarellus

Are Flamingos Phoenician Helicopters?

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So, I was using the Tinycards app that duolingo has; and someone had created a pack for Esperanto animals. One word that amused me was the Esperanto word for "Flamingo", "Fenikoptero".

I suspected this might be a word compounded between two others and was curious what they were. (I find silly exercises like this help me remember the words for longer).

I did find that "Fenico" is "Phoenician" and "Helikoptero" is a helicopter- not an exact match, but I wonder if there is some other common root words. For now though- I will always think of pink helicopters whenever I try to remember the word for Flamingo.

Does anyone know the real etymology behind Fenikoptero? How far away am I? It is probably more likely something to do with "tero" being "ground".

1 year ago

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
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Phoenicopterus was coined from 'φοίνικος' (of crimson red, or pertaining to a phoenix—the original etymology is disputed) + 'πτερόν' (wing, feather).
'Helicopter' was coined from ''ἕλῐξ', 'ἕλῐκος' (spiral, whence En. 'helix') + 'πτερόν' (c.f. 'ornithopter' ('ornitoptero'), 'bird-wing'—not to be confused with the butterfly, which is Ornithoptera, and I know not what in Esperanto!)

1 year ago

[deactivated user]

    well, pteron is greek for feather or wing, and phoiniks can mean the phoenix; or the date palm, or a shade of purple dye (sorry, I haven't got my greek keyboard here)

    Having looked those up in my little dictionary, I then realized I could go look at wikipedia, and find that Phoenicopteridae is the Latin name of the flamingo family. (So much for showing off my ancient greek errudition)

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Cambarellus
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    Thank you, after learning another animal (Skolopendro : Centipede), and learning that the Linneus genus for Centipede is Skolopendra, I looked up the lineus genus name for Flamingo and found the genus name you mention above. :)

    I am naturally disappointed that Flamingos are not Phoenician Helicopters.

    It looks like a lot of animals may be named after their Latin names.

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/LeeMiller9

    Note the difference between "fenico" and "fenik/"--details matter in language.

    For many names of animals and plants, Esperanto defaults to the scientific name. Google can explain the etymology of the scientific name.

    There's no connection between "fenikoptero", "fenico", and "helikoperto".

    The word "flamengo" is also used for the pink wading bird.

    1 year ago
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