from The Century Dictionary.
- noun In zoology: In Crustacea, the last segment of the normally 7-jointed leg; a dactylopodite. It is the movable claw of the two that make the nipper or chelate claw.
- noun In entomology, one or all of the tarsal joints which follow the first one in any insect, when, as in a bee, for example, the first joint is much larger than the rest and known as the metatarsus or planta.
- noun In conchology, a piddock, Pholas dactylus.
- noun In anatomy See
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The Date, the fruit of the Date Palm, derives its name from the Greek _dactylus_, a finger, from its mode of growing in clusters spreading out like the fingers of the hand.
A Catechism of Familiar Things; Their History, and the Events Which Led to Their Discovery. With a Short Explanation of Some of the Principal Natural Phenomena. For the Use of Schools and Families. Enlarged and Revised Edition.
'The _Pholas dactylus_' he says, 'makes its hole by grating the chalk with its rasp-like valves, licking it up, when pulverised, with its foot, forcing it up through its principal or bronchial syphon, and squirting it out in oblong nodules.
In the foot there is a gelatinous spring or style, which, even when taken out, has great elasticity, and which seems the mainspring of the motions of the _Pholas dactylus_. '
In deed, our English tong, hauing in vse chiefly, wordes of one syllable which commonly be long, doth not well receiue the nature of Carmen Heroicum, bicause dactylus, the aptest foote for that verse, conteining one long & two short, is seldom there - fore found in English: and doth also rather stumble than stand vpon Monosyllabis.
In deed, our English tong, hauing in vse chiefly, wordes of one syllable which commonly be long, doth not well receiue the nature of _Carmen Heroicum_, bicause _dactylus_, the aptest foote for that verse, conteining one long & two short, is seldom there - fore found in English: and doth also rather stumble than stand vpon _Monosyllabis.
"The ` pholas dactylus, 'as scientific people call it, which, until Gosse, as I said, discovered its mode of action, was quite a puzzle to every one; although, now that the mystery is out, all wonder it was not cleared up before!