- geophagy "dirt-eating," 1850, from Gk. *geophagia (according to OED the actual Greek is geotragia), from geo-, comb. form of ge "earth" + phagein "to eat."A diseased appetite ... prevails in several parts of Alabama, where they eat clay. I heard various speculations on the origin of this singular propensity, called 'geophagy' in some medical books. [Lyell, "Second Visit to U.S.," 1850]Cf. also PICA (Cf. pica) (2).
Etymology dictionary. 2014.
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geophagy — [jē äf′ə jē] n. [ GEO + PHAGY] the eating of earth to make up for lack of food, as in famine areas … English World dictionary
Geophagy — The red and green macaw eats clay from exposed riverbanks, allowing it to utilize nutrients in harmful foods. Geophagy is the practice of eating earthy or soil like substances such as clay, and chalk. It exists in animals in the wild and also in… … Wikipedia
geophagy — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1850 the practice of eating earthy substances (as clay) that in humans is performed especially to augment a scanty or mineral deficient diet or as part of a cultural tradition compare pica … New Collegiate Dictionary
geophagy — geophagist, n. geophagous /jee of euh geuhs/, adj. /jee of euh jee/, n. the practice of eating earthy matter, esp. clay or chalk, as in famine stricken areas. Also, geophagia /jee euh fay jeuh, jee euh/, geophagism /jee of euh jiz euhm/. [1840… … Universalium
geophagy — noun The practice of eating earthy substances such as clay and chalk, often thought to augment a mineral deficient diet … Wiktionary
geophagy — ge·oph·a·gy ə jē n, pl gies the practice of eating earthy substances (as clay) that in humans is performed esp. to augment a scanty or mineral deficient diet or as part of a cultural tradition called also earth eating compare PICA * * *… … Medical dictionary
geophagy — practice of feeding on soil; dirt eating Feeding and Eating … Phrontistery dictionary
geophagy — n. practice of eating dirt or clay (in times of famine or as a symptom of a mental illness) … English contemporary dictionary
geophagy — [dʒɪ ɒfədʒi] noun the practice in some tribal societies of eating earth. Origin C19: from geo + Gk phagia eating, feeding (from phagein eat ) … English new terms dictionary
geophagy — ge·oph·a·gy … English syllables