Monday 30 April 2018

Why There Are No Bears In The Antarctic

Image result for polar bear old printThere are no polar bears at the South Pole because it's etymologically impossible.

If you look to the north on a clear night (an idea that seems extraordinary in Britain at the moment), you will see the constellations of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Ursa Minor is so far North that it even contains the Pole Star.

Ursa is just the Latin word for bear (and constellation is Latin for together stars (con-stella)). That's why louche English astronomers will call these constellations the Great Bear and the Little Bear.

But Greek astronomers, being Greek, didn't use either the Latin ursa or English bear, they used the Greek work Arctos, which also just means bear.

So the Arctic is, literally, the bear-place. And the opposite end of the world is the Antarctic or Anti-Arctic or No-Bears-Here-Place.

And that's why polar bears don't move to the Antarctic. They feel unwelcome, etymologically speaking. This may be a ploy on the part of the penguins.

Mind you, polar bears are etymologically impossible, because bear come from the Proto-Germanic *bero, which means brown.

So brown bears are brown browns.

Oh, and grizzly bears are etymologically grey browns (from French gris), which is why I only use the Latin name Ursus Horribilis.

And some bears have no fur at all. I despise them. I can't bear bare bears.

The Inky Fool defending the etymological purity of Antarctica

P.S. Only a week until Short History of Drunkenness comes out in the USA