Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day

Thursday word: mammoth

mammoth (MAM-uth) - n., any large, extinct, elephant-like mammal (genus Mammuthus) from the Pleistocene epoch having hairy skin and ridged molar teeth. adj., huge, immense, enormous.

I'm running a week of Pleistocene megafauna that are fun to say, and I realized this word never been run here -- so here we are. Unlike most megafauna, mammoths survived locally past the Ice Age -- the last to die out being dwarf forms of the woolly mammoth (M. primigenius) on Wrangel Island around 1650 BCE. Unless you're obsessed, Wikipedia has most of what you need to know about these beasties, except that the article mysteriously omits discussion of just how adorable the big guys were -- ah, well. The word itself was adopted in the 1690s from Russian mammot (modern form mámont), a name given to bones found in Siberia, from an uncertain origin -- the most common suggestions being an Uralic language such as Old Mansi or Old Vogul (conjectured forms *mē̮ŋ-ońt or *mēmoŋt, both meaning earth-horn). The extended meaning as an adjective was relatively quick.

Next to Bea's pickup, the crane was a truly mammoth truck.

Tags: adjective, m, noun, russian

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