RE: OT( scientific, not silly) Teratology
I asked someone who does teratology studies and he agrees that the word is
probably terata. In that context it means that the pups were mal-formed in
From: RSRICHMOND@aol.com [mailto:RSRICHMOND@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: OT( scientific, not silly) Teratology
Marge Lehman asks:
>>I'll bet someone on this list can help a colleague of mine. He is trying
find the definition of "lorata" used in connection with teratology studies.
The context is that after XXXX was applied to the skin of dam lorata
on pups at (whatever) age. We can't find it in dictionaries, texts or on the
I don't know this word, and a quick check of the Oxford English Dictionary
and my father's 1920 Dorland's medical dictionary (both repositories of rare
and lost words) turns up nothing at all.
The word teratology comes from the Greek 'teras' (plural 'terata') - the
medical word teratoma comes from it, as does the Système Internationale
(metric) prefix tera- (a thousand giga- or a thousandth of a peta-) -
I suspect that the word "lorata" is a misreading of handwriting, possibly
"terata" though I don't think that this word is ever used for ordinary
tumors. ("*Terata appeared on pups." does not strike me as a likely usage.)
A Latin word lorum 'a strap or thong', plural lora, produces a number of
obscure words in the OED. - A reference to a minor poem of Vergil (Moretum,
the Cheese and Garlic Dip) uses lorata for a "thong-encircled yoke" so that
conceivably the usage could refer to limb-reduction deformities produced by
A Google search is complicated by the fact that lorata is a common species
name (such as Sterna lorata, the Peruvian tern).
There - I believe I have left no stone unturned, and no tern unstoned, and
(if indeed we're painting the butts of mama rats) no stern untoned.
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