river horse

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



Calque of Ancient Greek ἱπποπόταμος (hippopótamos).


river horse (plural river horses)

  1. (poetic) hippopotamus
    • 1851 October 18, Herman Melville, chapter 1, in The Whale, 1st British edition, London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 14262177; Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, 14 November 1851, OCLC 57395299:
      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.