Liliger Liliger Burning Bright

I must admit that the birth of the world’s first liliger passed me by last year. But fear not. The arrival of three more liligers has propelled this new species, and neologism, across the world’s media.

The liliger litter has been born at Novosibirsk zoo in Russia to a lion father (Sam) and a liger mother (Zita), a liger being a cross-breed between a lion and a tiger.

Whether this word has a long life is of course entirely dependent on the future course of the world’s liliger population. Given that there are only four of them at present, and they are all female, the prospects don’t look great. This may be a word that only covers a single generation of animals and then retreats into history. Or perhaps when older, a liliger will mate with a lion, creating a lililiger.

I dread to think how many syllables we might need for their great-great-grandchildren.

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