New updates to the Devil’s dictionary

more entries in the Devil’s Dictionary: -bios, faveolus, pleuston, sitology, somatic, snurps, supination, and tarsi.

See the complete Devil’s Dictionary of Scientific Words and Phrases here.


all entries in the Devil’s Dictionary copyright 2019 by Russ Hodge

-bios a suffix attached to organisms indicating the ecosphere – the “living space” – in which they typically reside. Examples include:

halobios  the organisms residing inside a halo

limnobios  the organisms that live in limonade

limobios  anything organic that remains after cleaning a limo

diplobios  parasites occupying the bodies of diplomats

geobios  animals that live on land; interestingly, an anagram of the word is “boogies”, which means organisms that live in a gelatinous substance extracted from the nose and exposed to air.

faveolus  the crater left behind on a person’s face after the removal of a zit

pleuston  the aquatic version of a windbag

sitology  the scientific study of the interactions between a butt and a chair

somatic  everything that remains of a body after the soul has been extracted, whether through surgical, psychological, or divine methods

snurps  cynical, quip-like comments in a review, usually delivered in a sarcastic manner

supination  a posture adopted by a penitent when petitioning mercy on the part of a superior being, such as a religious authority or a group leader. In proper supination, the ventral side faces upward, toward the superior, exposing the soft parts, basically offering one’s intestines to the predator in the event he or she has a taste for such things.

tarsi  structures that keep a person’s eyelids from falling off.


If you liked the Devil’s Dictionary, you’ll probably also enjoy:

The subtle art of writing a truly mean and vicious review

Even God’s first paper got rejected

The Evolution of Pizza: Novel insights from the fourth domain of life


Published by


I am a science writer at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, author of fiction and popular science books, an artist, and a professional musician who performs on the viola da gamba and Medieval and Renaissance stringed instruments. I edit manuscripts of all types and teach the full range of scientific communication skills. I am doing theoretical work in this subject - see for example

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.