river horse

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Calque of hippopotamus, from Ancient Greek ἱπποπόταμος (hippopótamos), from ἵππος (híppos, horse) + ποταμός (potamós, river).

Noun[edit]

river horse (plural river horses)

  1. (poetic) hippopotamus
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 1
      It is out of the idolatrous dotings of the old Egyptians upon broiled ibis and roasted river horse, that you see the mummies of those creatures in their huge bake-houses the pyramids.
    • 1849, Charlotte Brontë, Shirley
      Liverpool started and snorted like a river-horse roused among his reeds by thunder.

Synonyms[edit]

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