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

dziggetai or chigetai (JIG-i-tay or CHIG-i-tay) - n., the Mongolian wild ass.


Equus hemionus hemionus, a variety of onager, and so related to pretty much every wild donkey of Asia. Behold:


Thanks, Wikimedia!

Formerly ranged into western China and Kazakhstan but now restricted to southern Mongolia. This is, admittedly, not an easy word to work into everyday conversation. "Yes, but does your local zoo have a dziggetai?" with an air of 'the way ours does' is snooty and, even if you are a snoot, you can't use that tactic very often anyway. (Full disclosure: my zoo doesn't.) First named in English in the late 18th century, borrowed from (where else?) Mongolian chikitei, lit. having ears, which is an awesome description of a donkey, from chiki, ear -- and it can be spelled several other ways due to the vagaries of transliteration.

---L.
Tags: c, d, mongolian, noun
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