FW: [canberrabirds] Avicide. When is a new word appropriate?

To: <>
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Avicide. When is a new word appropriate?
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:40:17 +1100

Well, as this is a discussion about words …..  ‘Infanticide’ was an offence introduced to mitigate the severity of the criminal law, and could be committed only by a woman in a certain situation.  The essence of it appears in the present Victorian provision –


There has been much recent debate about whether the offence should be retained and it has been abolished in some Australian jurisdictions.  The word can be used in a broader sense (generally confusingly, people liking the idea of such words for some reason)  but anyone advocating its use should be aware of the stricter meaning.  Why do you need a word anyway?  What is the word for someone who kills their lawyer or bank manager? 


From: Martin Butterfield [
Sent: Wednesday, 31 December 2014 2:28 PM
To: n/a n/a
Cc: COG List
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Avicide. When is a new word appropriate?


If one wished to develop a less human focused word one could add "icide" to a latin word meaning offspring.  Consulting an on-line dictionary I got three words for offspring : foetus; fetus and subolis.   The use of foetus seems a tad confusing as in mammals it is now used mainly to cover young before birth.  


So perhaps "subolicide" would fit the bill (or indeed The Bill).




On 31 December 2014 at 07:14, Martin Butterfield <m("","martinflab");" target="_blank">> wrote:

Fratricide - brother killing - would seem to be adopting a term usually referring to evilness by humans.  So why not adopt the term for humans killing their children "infanticide"?




On 31 December 2014 at 06:56, n/a n/a <m("","graham.br63");" target="_blank">> wrote:

The male Musk Duck (Biziura lobata) is said to predate its own young. What does HANZAB say? What other nestlings / immatures is it known to predate? Fratricide has been used to describe Kookaburra nestlings killing siblings, so when an adult bird kills and eats its own young is that avicide? How common is avicide, e.g. among Australian Magpies and Black Swans? What word best descibes this situation? What other waterbirds may predate the young of all members of the Rallidae?

Bill Graham



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