The obscure word of the week is anthrophagy

This week’s obscure English word is anthophagy. It means the act of feeding on flowers.

It’s meant to refer to the various animals that chow down that way, but there are plenty of flowers humans can eat, and this immediately gives me an idea for a recipe book: 101 Recipes for the Enthusiastic Anthrophagist. It’ll include such gems as deep-fried hollyhock rissoles with chocolate, marigold souffle au gratin, nasturtium gravlax en crout, and of course the perennial favourite, raw, uncooked borage served up by itself on a plate.

Your challenge: write a sentence or two in the comments using this word.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2020

4 thoughts on “The obscure word of the week is anthrophagy

  1. The anthropologist was nonplussed by frequent requests on the best method for making dandelion stew. Eventually he resorted to wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed his discipline and anthrophagy were not at all the same thing. Eventually, he moved away from the curiously logophillic village.

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    1. Oddly enough, I have an undergrad degree in anthropology (studied under a colleague and student of Jane Goodall, in fact). I can confirm it is, indeed, totally different from anthrophagy.

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  2. “Anthophagy” is uncomfortably similar to “anthropophagy.” I can see doing the first; have probably done it, fact. Not the second, I’m happy to say. Guess which of these is the name of a band from Cobourg, Ontario…

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    1. It’s intriguing how similar those words are. I blame English and its habit of stealing from Latin! On matters anthropophagy, there was a marvellous satire by Arthur C. Clarke, ‘The Food of the Gods’, postulating a future in which all food was synthetically produced by two major corporations. People became so squeamish about the idea of real organic food, particularly meat eating, that synthetic meat products had non-animal names, and even ‘carnivore’ as a description of those who ate the synthetic meat had to be spelt out, letter by letter, to avoid offence. Then one of the corporates produced a new food, ‘Ambrosia Plus’, which became a runaway best-selling product. Its rival reverse-engineered it. The whole story was presented as a lecture by the chief chemist of this company who felt obliged to spell out what those who ate ‘Ambrosia Plus’ were. It was a brilliant satire and, of course, had the classic Clarke twist at the end, which I will now spoil. (‘C-a-n-n-i-‘)


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