From the name of the German valley where Neanderthal 1 was discovered in 1856. The Düsseltal (from German Düssel, a small tributary of the River Rhine + tal (“valley”)) itself was renamed (from Das Gesteins (“The Rockiness”) and/or Das Hundsklipp (“The Cliff of Dogs”)) in the early 19th century to Neandershöhle (“Neander’s Hollow”), and again in 1850 to Neanderthal (“Neander Valley”); both names were in honour of the German Calvinist theologian and hymn writer Joachim Neander (1650–1680). The surname Neander is a Romanisation of the Greek translation of the original German surname Neumann (“New man”), for which reason Homo neanderthalensis is sometimes called New man in English.
- (UK) enPR: nē.ănʹdə.täl', IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dəˌtɑːl/,, IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dəˌθɑːl/
- (US) enPR: nē.ănʹdər.thäl', IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dɚˌθɑːl/; enPR: nē.ănʹdər.täl', IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dɚˌtɑːl/,
Audio (US) (file)
neanderthal (not comparable)
- Primitive, old-fashioned, opposed to change (in allusion to the now extinct species Homo neanderthalensis).
neanderthal (plural neanderthals)
- (pejorative) A primitive person or a person with old-fashioned ideas or who opposes change.
- (usually Neanderthal) A specimen of the now extinct species Homo neanderthalensis.
- “neanderthal” listed in the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (© Cambridge University Press 2009)