Home » Dictionary » alloparent

alloparent

alloparent
 n.— «Where did the term “alloparent” to refer to the mother’s helpers come from? I was one of the first people back in the ’70s to write about the importance of conspecifics—members of the same species other than the mothers—rearing offspring, but at the time I was using the very technical primatological term “aunties and uncles.” And I was writing a paper in a seminar for Edward O. Wilson, and he said, “You know, Sarah, this won’t do.” And so it was actually Wilson who coined the term “alloparent,” because he felt we needed something a little more dignified than calling them “monkey aunts and uncles.”» —“You can never have too many mothers” by Julia Wallace Salon May 11, 2009. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Further reading

The Black Dog (episode #1536)

Books were rare treasures in the Middle Ages, painstakingly copied out by hand. So how to protect them from theft? Scribes sometimes added a curse to the first page of those books that was supposed to keep thieves away — and some were as vicious as...

Animal Crackers (episode #1636)

Images of birds flutter inside lots of English words and phrases, from “nest egg” and “pecking order,” to proverbs from around the world—including a lovely Spanish saying about how birds sense light just before dawn. Plus...