New Internationalist

Camels

March 2006

One hump or two humps? The Bactrian camel has two humps, and the Dromedary one. Bactria was an ancient country in central Asia, named after the modern village of Balkh in Afghanistan. Dromedary is from the Greek dromos (runner), from which we also get hippodrome, aerodrome, and perhaps less obviously, palindrome.

Palindrome is from the Greek for ‘running back again’ and is a word (or phrase) like ‘A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!’ that reads the same backwards as forwards.

Still confused about the number of humps? Imagine each initial letter on its side:

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 350 This column was published in the March 2006 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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