from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as flying-robin.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Murcielago is the Spanish word for bat. (I assume its etymology stems from the Latin words for 'blind mouse'). Apart from finding it a cute word to say, for many weeks this was one of my favorite words because - so I was told - it was the only Spanish word to contain all 5 vowels. It was only two days ago that I figured out that this last piece of misinformation was false, as I read some boring article about corruption in the ayuntamiento (local government) in Madrid. I don't find the word ayuntamiento nearly as much fun to say, however.

    August 29, 2007

  • It's not murcielago but murciélago. There are a lot of words containing the five vowels, p. ex: peliagudo.

    About ayuntamiento, besides 'local government', it means 'coitus'. The verb ayuntarse is cognate of ayuntamiento.

    October 23, 2007

  • The problem is that I don't have accents on my keyboard. Or umlauts, or tildes, or circumflexes. And I'm too lazy to figure out how to make them.

    October 23, 2007

  • Holy cow, what an unlikely pair of definitions ayuntamiento has. Just how exactly are the two related?

    October 23, 2007

  • Spanish definition of ayuntamiento:

    1. Acción y efecto de ayuntar o ayuntarse.

    2. Corporación compuesta de un alcalde y varios concejales para la administración de los intereses de un municipio.

    3. Casa consistorial.

    4. Junta (reunión de personas para tratar algún asunto).

    5. Coito.

    (My 'macaronic') English translation of that:

    1. Action or effect of 'ayuntar' or 'ayuntarse'.

    2. Corporation composed of a mayor and several town councillors for the government of a town.

    3. Town hall (or city hall).

    4. Meeting, assembly.

    5. Coitus.

    What do you think about it?

    October 24, 2007

  • Okay, I think I get it. Because ayuntar means "to join" or "to meet," I see how it could be taken either way. Similar to the word intercourse in English, which originally meant "discussion" but has come mean "coitus" in most every case. Also similar are conjugation and union.

    October 24, 2007

  • Is there a name in English to call the words like 'murcielago' (the 5 vowels in the same word without repeating them)? The Spanish word for this is panvocálica or pentavocálica

    October 25, 2007

  • frangarnes : The obvious candidate would be "panvocalic", but this does not show up as a real English word in any of the online dictionaries I can access.

    The word pangram does exist, and refers to a sentence containing all 26 letters of the alphabet.

    October 25, 2007