November 1, 2012

"Ancient Romans knew this animal featured in their circuses as a hippotigris."

Answer, without looking it up, in 30 seconds, with nerve-wracking music playing.

36 comments:

rhhardin said...

Horse tiger.

David said...

Iranian sex tourist.

sydney said...

Horse tiger is right.

MTN said...

Zebra. Makes you wonder what the potamus part of hippopotamus means. Something related to water, I presume.

James said...

potamus = river. think mesopotamia

Wally Ballou said...

Yes. Hippopotamus means "river horse" Mesopotamia means "between the rivers" (the Tigris and Euphrates). Potomac River seems like it would mean "river river" but it is actually from an unrelated Indian word.

Darrell said...

potamus = river. think mesopotamia

Think "potable water" instead. Then go to "river."

I knew it was zebra even though the answer wasn't in the free version I got to see.

Bob Ellison said...

What, then, would a hippopompatus be?

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

Maurice--horse's ass.

Pogo said...

Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros

clint said...

Zebra?

Ann Althouse said...

I knew "hippo" mean horse, but I would have had a hard time seeing "tigris" as a unit and making what would then be an easy leap to zebra.

I saw the "ti" as a nonsense bit of connectivity between "hippo" and "gris." I know "gris" as the French word for "gray." I'm afraid I would have wasted my time thinking about a gray horse and scribbled "donkey" ... even though what kind of circus animal is a donkey.

Carnifex said...

Figgered it out in the time allowed.

Hippo=horse
tigris=(I thought tiger)maybe striped

Striped horse=Zebra

Da' nuns would be proud!

lemondog said...

Tigris as in the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.

wyo sis said...

I didn't get it in time, which is exactly why I could never compete in Jeopardy.

Scott M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

"I know which part of your mother's pot is amus, Trebek." - Sean Connery.

EDH said...

clint said...
Zebra?

I'm sorry, despite the interrogative inflection, you failed to put your response in the form of a question.

Peter Hoh said...

I went to horse-tiger, too.

Tip o' the hat to Doc Schettler, with whom I had one very fun year studying Latin. Wish I had started that earlier in high school.

Kylos said...

I immediately thought horse-tiger, but I probably spent 15 seconds trying to think of horse-like cats instead of cat-like horses. When I reversed my thought process, I got it pretty quickly, I think within 30 seconds.

Mitchell the Bat said...

"Be that as it may, Alex, those people have never been in my kitchen."

-- Cliff Clavin

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Got that one. Thanks to listening to Alan Moorehead's "White Nile" and "Blue Nile" on audio-book. The early English explorers referred to hippopotamus as 'water horse'. Hippotigris therefore conjurs image of striped horse, the zebra.

Revenant said...

That one's easy if you have at least a dim memory of high school Latin. :)

Revenant said...

That one's easy if you have at least a dim memory of high school Latin. :)

Amartel said...

zebra?

BarrySanders20 said...


"What, then, would a hippopompatus be?"

"Maurice--horse's ass."

If that's true, Maurice speaks of the ass of love?

I always thought that would be a great Jeapordy answer: Maurice speaks of this in the Joker. I wonder if that brilliant Mormon from ten years ago would have known.

Paddy O said...

Pogo, I just spent a number of minutes finding--and of course watching again--that video, only to find you already posted it.

From ancient Rome to modern--what are they? Australian, English, whatever.

Paddy O said...

I knew this mostly because it immediately brought to mind what Romans called giraffes--cameleopards (or something like that).

So, I asks myself, what kind of tiger would be found in a hippodrome?

BarrySanders20 said...


"What, then, would a hippopompatus be?"

"Maurice--horse's ass."

If that's true, Maurice speaks of the ass of love?

I always thought that would be a great Jeapordy answer: Maurice speaks of this in the Joker. I wonder if that brilliant Mormon from ten years ago would have known.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Hippopotamus is 'river horse'.

Big Mike said...

You're all wrong. The correct response is "What is a zebra."

Don't any of you watch "Jeopardy"?

bagoh20 said...

It took me 1 second flat, but I'm a college dropout.

Steven said...

Watching it "live", I came up with the real answer just after time ran out.

I initially got stuck on the fact that the Tigris is a river, and that "hippopotamus" means river horse, and thinking, "Well, maybe the Romans called the hippopotamus the Horse of the Tigris instead of rivers in general? It's geographically wrong, but such misattributions aren't unknown . . ."

SteveGW said...

I can't get the link to work. From the comments I'm getting the impression that the answer is supposed to be 'zebra'. My Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon tells me it's a kind of large tiger. None of my Latin dictionaries mention the word at all.

SteveGW said...

I can't get the link to work. From the comments I'm getting the impression that the answer is supposed to be 'zebra'. My Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon tells me it's a kind of large tiger. None of my Latin dictionaries mention the word at all.