The Corner


A reader wants to know if he can use the word “bdelloid” in ordinary

conversation. Depends what you mean by “can.” On matters of etiquette and

usage, I defer to our Grand Wordmaster ; but in my state, at

least, there is no statute prohibiting you.

The adjective “bdelloid” means “like a leech in form or function.” Possible

constructions would therefore be:

[At the deli counter] “I’d like one of those pastries, please. No, not the

square one — that one there — the bdelloid one.”

[To a significant other] “I DO love you, honey. I just wish you were a

little less… bdelloid.”


The Latest