What does the scientific name Campylorhynchus brunneicapillum mean? I simply want to find a way to decipher the meaning of scientific names. In the past I had to translate the names syllable by syllable using an abbreviated Latin dictionary to get a rough idea of the meaning. I can not find an on-line Latin translator that works - and not all scientific names are Latin.


1 Answer 1


According to the Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names:

  • Kampylos, καμπúλος (Greek): curved, bent;
  • Rhynchos, ῥύγχος (Greek): bill.

Also, for the specific epithet:

  • Brunneus (late Latin): brown;
  • Capillus (Latin): hair.

Page with the Genus name: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=-RfSBAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA87#v=onepage&q&f=false

Page with the specific epithet: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=-RfSBAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA78#v=onepage&q&f=false

  • $\begingroup$ PS: I already knew this by heart because I studied Ancient Greek (and Latin is quite obvious to me because I speak a Romanic language), but I linked that "birds names dictionary" so you can have another source to search. Also, have in mind that it's complicated to use a regular Latin or Greek dictionary as you use an English one because you have to know the declension and the nominative form of the word. For instance, androgen: if you look for andros in a Greek dictionary you're not gonna find it, because that's the genitive. You have to look for aner, which is the nominative. $\endgroup$
    – user24284
    May 27, 2017 at 8:05

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