The Naming of the Shrew

The Naming of the Shrew

Latin names Â? frequently unpronounceable, all too often wrong and always a tiny puzzle to unravel Â? have been annoying the layman since they first became formalised as scientific terms in the eighteenth century.

Why on earth has the entirely land-loving Eastern Mole been named Scalopus aquaticus, or the Oxford Ragwort been called Senecio squalidus Â? 'dirty old man'? What were naturalists thinking when they called a beetle Agra katewinsletae, a genus of fish… (more)