White-cheeked Honeyeater

To: Tony Russell <>
Subject: White-cheeked Honeyeater
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 05:39:38 +0000
I did Latin in first year high school. I deliberately failed the end of year 
exams, so that I would not have to travel any further along that road to 
madness. Took Geography instead, much more interesting.


> On 23 Jun 2015, at 10:56 am, Tony Russell <> wrote:
> Yeah, crazy how for instance in German everything has a gender. Bedroom, 
> house, horse, car, train, ship ( which are der, which are die, and which are 
> das?) -- makes it all much more difficult.  At least we only have " she's 
> alright mate" for everything.  I learnt some German at school and it made 
> everything so much harder having to remember the gender of inanimate objects. 
> Apparently we have masculine trains while our hair is neuter. Totally 
> illogical.
> Wallie.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of 
> Martin Butterfield
> Sent: Tuesday, 23 June 2015 9:15 AM
> To: Carl Clifford
> Cc: Birding-Aus
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] White-cheeked Honeyeater
> According to "Australian Bird Names a complete guide" by Ian Fraser and 
> Jeannie Gray the Philedon element comes from the Greek for "attractive",  The 
> Cinnyris bit does link back to sunbird .
> The business of gender of names all makes me glad we speak English, as with 
> all the irrationalities in that language, at least we avoided daftness like 
> having to decide what gender to apply to words such as the French 
> "l'internet"!
> Martin
> Martin Butterfield
>> On 22 June 2015 at 21:24, Carl Clifford <> wrote:
>> Hi Clive,
>> Bit of an update on the mystery. I have been doing a bit of a rummage 
>> through the library, and it seems that Phylidoyris is a bit of a 
>> manmade word. It comes from the French, Phylédon (Honeyeater), which 
>> comes from the Latin Philedon (honeyeater), cobbled together with the 
>> Latin Cynnyris (sunbird). No wonder the taxonomists couldn't decide 
>> which sex the word was. Probably should have been called nigrum, the neuter 
>> form.
>> Carl Clifford
>>> On 22 Jun 2015, at 4:17 pm, Clive Nealon <> wrote:
>>> Greetings,
>>> Can someone explain, please, why HANZAB, Pizzey & Knight (8th Ed), 
>>> and Morcombe field guides list White-cheeked Honeyeater as 
>>> Phylidonyris
>> nigra,
>>> and
>>> IOC and Christidis & Boles list it as Phylidonyris niger?
>>> Thanks.
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