View Full Version : Neanderthal or Neadertal?

The Mad Monk
08-05-2016, 14:47:57
Neanderthal or Neandertal?
The first such fossil was discovered in 1856 in the Neander Thal, or "Neander Valley" in German, and became known as "Neanderthal Man". In 1904, German spelling was regularized to be more consistent with pronunciation, and "thal" became "tal". In 1952 Henri Vallois proposed that it should be spelt as the Germans spell it, and the "-tal" spelling has become widely used since then. The "-thal" spelling persists most strongly in England.

'Neanderthal' can be pronounced with either a 't' or a 'th' sound - both are acceptable and widely used in English. The German pronunciation, however, has always been 't' (German has no 'th' sound).

None of this affects the taxonomic name of the Neandertals. William King proposed the name Homo neanderthalensis in 1864. Since then, opinion has fluctuated as to whether they should be considered Homo sapiens neanderthalensis (a subspecies of Homo sapiens) or a separate species, Homo neanderthalensis. For the first half of the 20th century, they were usually considered a separate species. For the last few decades they have usually been considered a subspecies, but recently Homo neanderthalensis has been gaining in popularity again. In either case, the 'h' must remain in the name, because the laws governing biological nomenclature forbid changing the spelling.

It is fascinating to think that, but for a matter of historical chance, we might now be classifying Neandertals as Homo stupidus! (Or, even stranger, Homo sapiens stupidus: "stupid wise man".) Ernst Haeckel created that name in 1866. Fortunately for the Neandertals, who have a bad enough image problem as it is, King's name was published two years earlier and hence has priority. (Wolpoff and Caspari, Race and Human Evolution, 1997, p.271)

The Neander Tal was named after a minister, Joachim Neumann, who used to take walks there in the late 17th century. Neumann composed many hymns, some of which are still sung today. Wanting to use a Greek pseudonym, Neumann, whose name means "new man", chose "Neander", a translation of his name into Greek. By a strange coincidence, the "New Man Valley" named for him after his death gave its name to a new type of human that was discovered there.

See also science fiction author Robert Sawyer's page on the 'Neanderthal or Neandertal' question. For my site, I chose the 'Neandertal' spelling, while Sawyer makes a good case for the 'Neanderthal' usage. As he says, it basically comes down to a matter of choice. (I went with 'Neandertal' mainly because Trinkaus and Shipman used it in their excellent book The Neandertals.)


08-05-2016, 15:13:46
Being 2% Neanderthal I vote for the right choice. :bash:

11-05-2016, 01:22:56
You got one of those DNA tests?

11-05-2016, 04:25:57
Yes, yes I did. :)

11-05-2016, 13:29:31
My uncle had a test, we're mostly German...quelle surprise

The Mad Monk
11-05-2016, 17:54:40
MY uncle had a test.

He...flunked. :(

11-05-2016, 18:37:06

C.G.B. Spender
11-05-2016, 19:26:06
Fucking Outlanders

C.G.B. Spender
11-05-2016, 19:26:49
And: no! I won't let them steal my H!!!!

C.G.B. Spender
11-05-2016, 19:29:30
I don't need a DNA test to prove I''m 100% german. My dad my be 50% dutch and my mom 50% polish, but I am 100% german. And that's so important, Schweinhunde! *marching*

11-05-2016, 20:19:16
The marching is the best part

12-05-2016, 03:20:22
I should take one of those DNA tests. What do they cost? A couple of hundred bucks?

12-05-2016, 03:27:42
I don't need a DNA test to prove I''m 100% german. My dad my be 50% dutch and my mom 50% polish, but I am 100% german. And that's so important, Schweinhunde! *marching*

That sounds almost straight out of the "100% Americanism" campaigns they had in WW1 here in the US where they were trying to get a bunch of first generation European immigrants to fall into line with American jingoism and patriotism. By and large it worked too; it is almost scary how easy it was to get even immigrants to buy into American jingoism. Complete with millions of German immigrants changing their names to more "American" (read: British) sounding names.

My mom's family actually kept their dirty foreign sounding name but since their surname was ultimately French that was considered one of the acceptable foreign sounding names as the French were allies. My dad's family was still all in the UK so naturally their surname was already "100% American", to use the phrase popular at the time, even though none of them had ever been to America. They got to slide right in to the accepted WASP group despite their Scottish accents. Ironic given that even low land Scots are, at best only partially Anglo-Saxon (but the religion was right, the names sounded right, and you were of the preferred ethnic background so one did not argue).

12-05-2016, 04:10:48
Being 2% Neanderthal I vote for the right choice. :bash:

Trump? Nee, Drumpf because that sounded too German? Even our assholes have Americanized names. It is a shame they stopped making immigrants take "Americanized" names because I would love to see what they do with some of the Iraqi or Afghan names. It was clear from dome of the "Americanized" names they gave some of the eastern Europeans and more ethnic groups that the INS guys were just having a piss.

12-05-2016, 04:41:07
I used this one.

16-05-2016, 17:16:41
europeans have a lot of neaderdal DNA which explains why they are agreesive fucks

africans don't have that problem. they're all homo sapiens

16-05-2016, 17:20:12
Greek pseudonym, Neumann, whose name means "new man", chose "Neander"


neos andras. amazing. even I didn't know that (that's ok though I don't know a lot of things)

16-05-2016, 17:41:37
about the DNA I'm 100% kouros.
The only thing missing is the dreadlocks

(I find it very freakish that there are people who take DNA tests btw. must be that infamous serach for identity in muricanialand. still sounds too much merkele. but maybe i'm wrong and it's benevolent)
I've also heard that is measliding as hell.
"You have 26% indonesian genes"
"But noone I ever knew went or came from indonesia????"
"ah! ah! the tests don't lie!"
"that's so cool! I'll start dancing Minangkabau right now!"

C.G.B. Spender
30-05-2016, 16:51:50
It has nothing to do with some bizarre DNA shit. I'ts all in the genes!

30-05-2016, 23:57:01
I have 4 pairs of jeans.

31-05-2016, 00:31:53
You are posh

The Mad Monk
31-05-2016, 03:35:44
I think I am Sporty or Scary.

31-05-2016, 12:45:39
Scary I'd say

The Mad Monk
31-05-2016, 17:57:04

01-06-2016, 13:57:38
MoSe is sporty

The Mad Monk
11-06-2016, 17:52:32

23-06-2016, 09:36:17
Now that is a very confident man.

27-06-2016, 17:19:35
The male of the species evolved exagerated finery in the hope to attract mates.