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

Thursday word: chameleon

I've been doing lizard names over in my main journal.

chameleon (kuh-MEE-lee-uhn, kuh-MEEL-yuhn) - n., any about 200 species of tropical lizards (family Chamaeleontidae), mostly from Africa and Madagascar, with the ability to change the color of their skin, prehensile tail, and a projectile tongue; a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person.

Most are small- to mid-sized reptiles, and contra what most believe (and I wrote in the definition) not all of them can change colors. Is the name three syllables or four? That's up to you. I suspect I change my pronunciation depending on the rhythm of the sentence. It's a chameleon pronunciation.

The name first appears in English in the 14th century as camelion, from Medieval French, from Latin chamaeleon (the classical -h- was restored in English early 18 century), from Greek khamaileōn, from khamai, on the ground + leōn, lion, a word-for-word translation of Akkadian nēš qaqqari, literally lion of the ground, used as name some sort of lizard, possibly in fact a chameleon but we're not sure.

A common chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) feeling green:

Thanks, WikiMedia!

Tags: akkadian, c, greek, noun

  • Sunday Word: Merrythought

    merrythought [ mer-ee-thawt] noun: (British English) the wishbone or furcula of a fowl, the forked bone between the neck and breast of a…

  • Tuesday word: Solace

    Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2021 Solace (noun, verb) sol·ace [sol-is] noun Also called sol·ace·ment. 1. comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble;…

  • Sunday Word: Saltings

    saltings [ sawlt-ings] noun: (British English) areas of low ground regularly inundated with salt water, often taken to include their…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded