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Headword: Ὀρταλίχων
Adler number: omicron,638
Translated headword: of chicks
Vetting Status: high
"Chicks" [are] a kind of bird.[1]
Or [a kind] of chickens.
Ὀρταλίχων ["of chicks"], [meaning] of newborn birds. "Birds, mothers of tender chicks".[2]
Greek Original:
Ὀρταλίχων: εἶδος ὀρνέων οἱ ὀρτάλιχοι. ἢ ἀλεκτρυόνων. Ὀρταλίχων, ὀρνέων νεογνῶν. ὄρνιθες δροσερῶν μητέρες ὀρταλίχων.
The headword, repeated in the epigram quoted in the entry (but probably extracted here from Aeschylus or Aristophanes), is genitive plural of the noun ὀρτάλιχος (a diminutive of ὀρταλίς ).
[1] Despite the attempt to call ὀρτάλιχοι a particular kind of bird, the second gloss is correct: the word merely means 'young bird', and more generally 'young animal' (LSJ s.v). Hesychius omicron1335 and the scholia to Aeschylus, Agamemnon 54, define them as 'hatchlings that have not yet flown'. The attempt to call ὀρτάλιχοι a kind of bird is made again in pi 3020 (following the scholia to Aristophanes, Acharnians 871), while the scholia to Theocritus, Idylls 13.10-13, offer 'hatchlings, or a kind of sparrow', and Hesychius adds 'chickens' to his definition as hatchlings.
[2] Greek Anthology 5.292.4.
Keywords: comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; poetry; tragedy; zoology
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 1 February 2009@11:40:30.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, keywords) on 1 February 2009@20:14:31.
David Whitehead (another note; another keyword; tweaks) on 2 February 2009@03:12:48.
David Whitehead (small additions and adjustments) on 19 July 2013@03:56:09.


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