Sunday, December 18, 2005

 

Copyright: anthropophage

anthropophage: living organism which feeds on humans.

A number of similar or related words appear on Internet dictionary searches: I even found anthropophaginian, but doubt its legitimacy. In a nutshell, anthropophag(i|y) (noun) is people-eating; beings which do so are anthropophagous (adj). Anthropophagite is proposed as a noun for those who eat humans, but I believe it should designate those who approve the practice (i.e. adherents or followers) whether or not they practice it.

Inasmuch as the cells which eat other cells are macrophages, not macrophagites nor macrophaginians, I recommend anthropophage as superior to the alternatives.

By the way, why macro+phage for a phago+cyte? macro+phage is a: "big+eater". Is it just a shortened form of macrophagocyte? I suspect so, but have not found documentary support.

It seems that a phago+cyte is a cell which eats, but not necessarily other cells: "eater+cell". The act of cell+eating is cyto+phagy. Is cytophage a word? Not as far as I can tell, so I hereby copyright it, too.

Be that as it may, "It was a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple anthopophage" probably would not have sold nearly as well It was a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater...

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