"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Saturday, 29 August 2009


The term atavism (derived from the Latin atavus, a great-grandfather's grandfather; more generally, an ancestor) denotes the tendency to revert to ancestral type. An atavism is an evolutionary throwback, such as traits reappearing which had disappeared generations ago.

Atavistic is the adjective from the noun atavism and is more commonly used. It refers to something being a throw-back to earlier times; to remote ancestry or to a primitive nature.

"The noise she made as she threw herself on the bed was atavistic."

No comments:

Post a Comment