Thursday, September 15, 2011


TileHead’s Word of the Day for 15 September 2011

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

RASORIAL  (adj.)

  1. (adj.) relating to birds that habitually search or scratch the ground for food

Useful information for game players:
  • Front hooks: (none)
  • Back hooks: (none)
  • Anagrams: (none)
  • Longer extensions: (none)
  • Wraparounds: (none)
  • Other Spellings: (none)
  • Related Forms: (none)

You’ve probably seen the RASORIAL behavior of chickens and some other birds, habitually pecking at the ground for food, and now, by golly, you know the word for it.  Several orders of birds were once classified as Rasores, or the Scratchers, from a Latin word meaning “to scrape” or “to scratch.”  The adjective RASORIAL is usually used in scientific writings, as when a Missouri Botanical Garden report noted that “the Brown Thrush... is terrestrial and rasorial in its habits” (1905).  However, writers have occasionally applied it more creatively, as in this passage from a novel by William Gaddis: “they looked toward the door, saw only the paunchy guest of the evening moving toward it, in an unsteady rasorial attitude as though following a trail of crumbs to the great world outside” (1955).

Nowadays chickens, pheasants, turkeys, and grouse are classified in the order Gallinae (from a Latin word for “hen”), to which you can refer with the adjective GALLINACEOUS.  Usually restricted to scientific uses, Annie Brassey employed it humorously in an 1885 book: “We returned to the hotel, where another meal, as gallinaceous as that of yesterday, awaited us.”

This week’s theme: Words starting with the letter R

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

No comments:

Post a Comment