Saturday, September 11, 2010

What's The Word

I know that anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to animals, but what is the word for adding human body parts to an animal?  I was watching Donnie Darko last night and the mascot of the school Donnie attends has the body of a human and the head of a bull dog.  There should be a word for combining human and animal bodies into one, like the Sphinx, I just can't think of what it is for the life of me.  I searched around the internet a little to try to find it but had no luck.  I did learn, however, that the word sphinx is derived from the Greek word meaning "to strangle" and that the word sphincter is derived from the sam word.  This fact, unfortunately, is not very helpful and not what I was looking for.  I also tried looking up mermaids in Wikipedia to see if there was a mention of the term there but again no luck.  In the unlikely event that no term exists, I suppose I'll have to make one up.  And on a side note, the word for making up new words is neologism. 
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