One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The branch of zoology that deals with snakes.
- ‘That, in fact, Holmes did recognize it for what it was, testifies to his profound knowledge of ophiology.’
- ‘For example, Kekulé thought up the ring structure of the benzene molecule after a dream of a snake grasping its tail, but chemists don't need to worry about correct ophiology to analyse benzene!’
Early 19th century: from Greek ophis ‘snake’ + -logy.
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