December 22nd, 2011

words are sexy

leucipottomy or leucippotomy

leucipottomy / leucippotomy (LYU-si-puh-toh-mee) - n., the craft of cutting white horses on hillsides.


Such as the Uffington Horse, among others: Wikipedia has the obligatory list of those in England. Cutting, because that's what one does to the turf to remove it and reveal the underlying chalk or light stone. Needless to say, this is not a frequently applied craft, but there have been at least three applications in the last two decades. Leucipottomy was incorrectly coined in 1949 by Morris Marples from Greek roots leuci–, white + hippo, horse + –tomy, a cutting out/excising -- incorrect because, firstly, it ought to be spelled leucippotomy, and the word is sometimes corrected to that spelling, and secondly, that's the wrong kind of cutting, being a cutting off (as in appendectomy), so it ought to mean the removal of white horses from, say, a herd. But this is the word he gave us, and what people use as needed.

He's getting a degree in leucippotomy, but refuses to discuss his employment options once he graduates.

---L.