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Susannah Dingley
601011.  Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:41 pm Reply with quote

I’ve just watched Episode 3 of Series A on my DVD. In that programme, Stephen says that the insect order Hymenoptera (to which ants, bees and wasps belong) is named after the Greek for “marriage”.

Not quite. While it is true that Hymen was the Greek god of marriage, the “hymen” part of the name of the insect order actually means “membrane”. The order Hymenoptera takes its name from the Greek for “membrane wings” – nothing to do with marriages.

601045.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:01 am Reply with quote

In current eastern culture the vaginal hymen (membrane) is an important part of the wedding ritual. The intact hymen is also part of current Zulu marriage rites.
See also

601258.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:25 pm Reply with quote

So it sounds like it's still right then.

Susannah Dingley
601369.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:29 pm Reply with quote

But what has that got to do with insects and the order Hymenoptera?

601463.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:02 pm Reply with quote

Nothing, Susannah, but it was interesting.

Susannah Dingley
601470.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:35 pm Reply with quote

Ah, okay.Thanks.


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