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December 24, 2009, 11:28
Animal Words
This week, we'll present "Animal Words."

bycatch – unwanted marine creatures, that are caught in the nets while fishing for another species, and are discarded

When I first learned this word, my thought was that it could have wonderful figurative uses. That's still true – but seeing the quotes stunned me with the overwhelming size of the problem.Bonus words:
– a fish known from fossils and thought to have been extinct since the Cretaceous Period, about 70 million years ago –until a but found in 1938 – as bycatch! – off the coast of Africa. It was considered the "missing link" between fish and tetrapods – four-limbed vertebrates.
[Greek koilos hollow + akantha spine (because its fins have hollow spines)]
December 25, 2009, 17:38
yean – to give birth (to) [used of sheep and goats]
December 29, 2009, 21:04
Oh, the wonders of the legal mind. On the issue of whether one could use a six-foot-high fence rather than an eight-foot-high one:

This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
December 30, 2009, 21:18
worm gear – a kind of gear: a spindle or shaft, with a spiral wrapping, that drives a teeth on the rim of a wheel

This is one of those cases where a picture is worth a thousand words. The spiral is the "worm". As the spindle turns, the worm moves like the stripe on a barber's pole.

When you tune a guitar, you stretch each sting by turning a small thumb-key on the head of the guitar. The turn rotates a worm gear.
December 31, 2009, 02:49
Richard English
Interestingly, although the picture here is the most commonly shown one, this type of worm (the straight worm) has a very significant disadvantage. As is clear from the picture, only the middle of the worm makes full contact with the pinion; indeed, of the six turns of the worm, only three have any contact at all. Whereas this does not matter in low stress applications such as guitar-string adjustment, it becomes a serious limitation in higher power applications, such as vehicle transmissions.

It was for this reason that the (much underrated) British engineer Frederick Lanchester - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_W._Lanchester - designed for the final drive of his very advanced cars the Lanchester Worm. In this system the worm was of an hourglass shape and thus wrapped around the pinion giving contact along all its length, thus minimising wear and giving greater smoothness and silence.

It is maybe a reflection on the way that the world has forgotten Lanchester (while remembering Ford, Royce and other pioneers) that I could find nary a single diagram of a Lanchester worm.

Richard English
January 01, 2010, 09:33
Warning: links are for readers who are not easily offended by bawdiness or vulgarity.

cameltoe – a slang term for a certain type of "wardrobe (mal)function"

This is another of those cases where a picture is worth a thousand words. This picture explains the term's cameeleous bifurcate etymology and its literal meaning, and this one its slang meaning. The latter sense appears far more often.

Bonus word:
– forked or divided into two parts or branches
[Latin bi- two + furca fork]

Bonus poetry: from How the Camel Got His Hump, by Rudyard Kipling
January 01, 2010, 10:56
The Camel's hump is an ugly lump
. . .Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
. . .From having too little to do.

While the camel's lump is an ugly hump
 Which well you may see at the zoo,
You may not see our lump unless you hump
 Which is what we'll entice you to do.

Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
January 02, 2010, 09:08
cock-a-hoop – triumphantly boastful; crowing with exultation
[believed to come from cock" rooster"]
January 21, 2010, 22:24

This message has been edited. Last edited by: zmježd,
January 22, 2010, 00:59
Richard English
Another clever spambot, I suspect. Spam is now being used frequently to promote some kind of political agendum, and this one is no doubt targetting all the animal-related blogs and discussion boards to try to promote an anti- animal experimentation lobby.

Richard English