Word for Wednesday: Pterodactyl

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In this week’s Word for Wednesday we’ll be heading back in time to the Jurassic period…

Let’s look at the name of the prehistoric reptile and ancestor of the bird: Pterodactyl (pronounced ‘terro-dac-til’).

The word ‘pterodactyl’ is built from two components: ‘Pteron’ is Greek for wing and ‘Daktulos’ is Greek for finger. Wing-finger isn’t quite as catchy is it?

But did you know that the ‘pter’ part of the word is the same as in the word 'helicopter'? Helicopter is also a compound word from the Greek ‘Helix’ (spiral) and ‘Pteron’ (wing). Fascinating!

We challenge you to invent your own avian (flying thing!) using ‘ptero’ and another Greek word – tweet us your ideas @Spellzone

Hugh MacDermott



29 Jul 2015
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