The dawn of etymology

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Yesterday's SMBC:

Mouseover title: "Chicken etymology is really easy because the word origins AND the words you use to describe them are all 'bock bock bock'."

The aftercomic:

Background mathematics: Hariharan Narayanan and Partha Niyogi, "Language Evolution, Coalescent Processes, and the Consensus Problem on a Social Network", 2011.



5 Comments »

  1. DWalker07 said,

    November 9, 2018 @ 3:07 pm

    I don't get the chicken etymology and "bock bock bock" thing. Is it supposed to make sense?

    [(myl) Perhaps this will help? ]

  2. Bob Moore said,

    November 9, 2018 @ 5:19 pm

    The aftercomic reminds me of something I once heard: Horses are called "horses" because that's what they are!

  3. David Marjanović said,

    November 9, 2018 @ 5:46 pm

    Chicken chicken chicken.

  4. Neal Goldfarb said,

    November 9, 2018 @ 6:39 pm

    I don't get the chicken etymology and "bock bock bock" thing. Is it supposed to make sense?

    [(myl) Perhaps this will help? ]

    If the source that Mark linked didn't help, perhaps this one will.

  5. dw said,

    November 14, 2018 @ 1:50 pm

    This venerable joke goes back at least as far as 1886:

    What shall we call this animal? said Eve to Adam. Call it a lion. Why a lion? Because it looks like a lion.

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