Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Balanoculture and Balanophagy
Likewise, I am indebted to David Bainbridge, who so far as I know coined the word balanoculture and whose thesis about acorn eating shaped my own.On p. 55 Logan again credits Bainbridge with coining balanoculture.
The word balanoculture is the offspring of a mixed marriage between Greek βάλανος (bálanos = acorn) and Latin cultura. It means a society in which the collection, storage, preparation, and consumption of acorns as a foodstuff play a large role. A synonym derived purely from Latin would be glandiculture, from Latin glans = acorn, but glandiculture appears nowhere outside of this blog post.
Logan's book lacks footnotes, and he doesn't say where the word balanoculture first appeared in print. There is a bibliography, however, which lists two items by David A. Bainbridge (p. 310):
- "The Rise of Agriculture: A New Perspective." Ambio 14, no. 3 (1985): 148-51.
- "The Use of Acorns for Food in California: Past, Present, Future." Berkeley, Calif.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Gen. Tech Rep. PSW-100 (1987).
The word balanophagy apparently first appeared in Edward W. Gifford, "California Balanophagy," in Essays in Anthropology Presented to A.L. Kroeber in Celebration of His Sixtieth Birthday (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1936), pp. 87-98, reprinted in R.F. Heizer and M.A. Whipple, edd. The California Indians (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971). It is a compound formed from the Greek roots βάλανος (bálanos = acorn) and φαγεῖν (phageîn, infinitive of ἔφαγον, used as 2nd aorist of ἐσθίω, meaning to eat).
Liddell-Scott-Jones (LSJ) list the following compounds formed from βάλανος and φαγεῖν. The LSJ definitions and citations are inside the parentheses:
- βαλανηφαγέω (live on acorns, App.BC1.50)
- βαλανηφαγία (a living on acorns, Ph.2.409)
- βαλανηφάγος (acorn-eating, esp. of Arcadians, Alc.(?).91, Orac. ap. Hdt.1.66, Plu.Cor.3, Nonn.D.13.287, Them.Or.26.316c)
- βαλανοφαγέω (= βαλανηφαγέω, Sch.Od.19.163)
- βαλανοφάγος (= βαλανηφάγος, EM790.36)
Thanks to my son, who gave me Logan's Oak as a gift on Fathers' Day.