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 to 
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 appeared 
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-) - meaning 

I suspect that the word "lorata" is a misreading of handwriting, possibly for 
"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 
congenital bands.

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.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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