The geological vocabulary bluff

A recent xkcd, 1829: Geochronology:

Not just the names of dog breeds. Dalmatian and Pomeranian are also place-name adjectives, and geological features are very often named after places.

Laika, however, is not a dog breed (or a place-name), but the name of a particular dog. From Wikipedia:

Laika (c. 1954 – November 3, 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957.

Maybe the idea is that it sounds like a geographical feature — like taiga, perhaps. From NOAD2:

the sometimes swampy coniferous forest of high northern latitudes, especially that between the tundra and steppes of Siberia and North America.

One Response to “The geological vocabulary bluff”

  1. Chris Waigl (@chrys) Says:

    Laika is also a dog breed, or rather, a group of them.

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