Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why every Pub Quiz team should have a Classicist...

One benefit/drawback of playing pub quiz on Tuesday with a former ABD in Classics is that he just couldn't let this one go:
An arctophile is a lover of what?
Our team gave it a good try, but we fell flat on that question. Our weak, last second stab-at-the-dark answer was "a lover of ice". Forgive us. Andy the Classicist was virtually inconsolable. To be fair, he nailed KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree", but c'mon, pop culture? No one is proud of pop culture. It should go without saying that Andy had his epiphany on the Metro the next day. He couldn't resist emailing us the play-by-play:
It hit me this morning that Arctic, actually "arktos" means "land of bears." I shoulda got this last night, but there aren't a lot of bears in Greece, and the Latin for bear "ursa" doesn't look like it is derived from arktos, though it does. The one that kills me is that I shoulda thought of the star Arcturus which would have led me to bear but I'm not a big astronomy buff.
What have we learned from this, children? Be kind to your favorite ABD Classicist. Their etymologies might be rusty, but they make up for it with knowledge of Indie Scottish singer/songwriters.

FYI, an arctophile is a lover of Teddy Bears.

3 comments:

richardelguru said...

There must be a joke in there somewhere about an antarctophile being a lover of stuffed penguins.
(Oh and one of your Turing test words is 'icemith'--cue the Twighlight Zone tune.)

Chris said...

The icemith cometh...

nycguy said...

As you probably know, the North Star is in the constellation of Ursa Minor. That's why bear means north, and antibear means south.

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