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Friday: December 29, 2006

Mazomanie

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:38 PM UTC

Ann Althouse ends a post on Wisconsin cuisine with a linguistic comment:

. . . isn’t it cool that there’s a town called “Mazomanie.” It sounds sounds like a form of insanity. A cute and amazing mania.

It does indeed sound like a form of mania. Though unattested in dictionaries, ‘mazomanie’ looks like a properly-formed ancient Greek word. Maníe (three syllables) is the Ionic dialect form of manía, “madness”, and mazós is the Ionic and Epic dialect form of mastós, as in ‘mastectomy’ and ‘mastodon’, so ‘mazomanie’ would be Herodotus’ word for a mania for female breasts. It is one of the commoner manias, particularly among adolescent males, but not many women would describe it as “cute and amazing”. Is there a Hooter’s in Mazomanie, Wisconsin?

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