from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various nonplacental mammals of the infraclass Metatheria, including kangaroos, opossums, bandicoots, and wombats, found principally in Australia and the Americas, and typically bearing young that suckle and develop after birth in the mother's pouch. These species were formerly placed in the order Marsupialia.
  • adjective Of or belonging to the infraclass Metatheria.
  • adjective Relating to or having a marsupium.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having the character of a bag, pouch, or marsupium; marsupiate.
  • Of or pertaining to a marsupium: as, marsupial bones.
  • Provided with a marsupium; specifically, pertaining to the Marsupialia, or having their characters.
  • noun A member of the order Marsupialia; any implacental didelphian mammal. Also called marsupiate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) One of the Marsupialia.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) Having a pouch for carrying the immature young; of or pertaining to the Marsupialia.
  • adjective (Anat. & Zoöl.) Of or pertaining to a marsupium.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) See Nototrema.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A mammal of which the female has a pouch in which it rears its young, which are born immature, through early infancy, such as the kangaroo or koala, or else pouchless members of the Marsupialia like the shrew opposum.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to a marsupial.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of or relating to the marsupials
  • noun mammals of which the females have a pouch (the marsupium) containing the teats where the young are fed and carried


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From marsupium.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin marsupium, marsuppium ("pouch, purse"), from Ancient Greek μαρσύπιον (marsupion) or μαρσύππιον (marsuppion), variants of μαρσίππιον (marsippion), diminutive of μάρσιππος (marsippos, "bag, pouch"); with English -al.


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  • Isn't it surprising that when I was the first person to list kangeroo 15 people had already listed marsupial?

    May 26, 2007

  • Hugh Laurie's favorite word.

    July 15, 2009

  • Hee! Thanks for that link, telofy.

    July 15, 2009

  • Doesn't it always amaze you that his real-life accent is decidedly not like his House accent?

    July 15, 2009

  • I'm just getting used to his House accent, actually. I keep thinking of him in Blackadder III (If at work, use headphones before clicking) and IV.

    I will say that marsupial sounds much less hilarious and more dignified when spoken with a British accent.

    July 15, 2009

  • Then it's probably me, since I've never seen either. But you're right about marsupial. :-)

    July 15, 2009

  • Laurie's House accent still doesn't sound right to me. What part of the States is House supposed to be from? Is it just a generic American accent? Where would you guys place it? I think because I was used to his native accent, the US one will always seem faux to me.

    Maruspial is an inspired choice of favourite word.

    July 15, 2009

  • I don't watch the show much--I've only seen a couple of episodes--but he definitely does not have a typical New Jersey or NY accent (the show takes place in/around Princeton, NJ). It does sound rather generic to me.

    July 16, 2009

  • It has a touch of the broad vowel flatness associated with rural areas (Midwest?), but the rudeness is definitely Joisey. :) Wait... didn't the character go to Johns Hopkins? So perhaps he's not originally from Jersey/NY...? (Not that one's choice of medical school is necessarily the closest one. Just sayin'.)

    It's still a dang good accent, even if it is generic. I don't think, during the pounding of several episodes a night (borrowed the DVDs from a friend... ahem...) that I've caught any British-sounding articulations more than, maybe, two or three times. That's pretty remarkable, considering that hearing a Brit (or Aussie) try to pronounce an American "R" sound (as in "arrrpeggio" or "butter" or better yet, "dork") makes me fall off my chair laughing.

    For an example of the opposite extreme, see Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Or at least, the first third of it, before he fired his dialect coach and just freakin' gave up trying to sound English... the flaming git.

    July 16, 2009

  • Saayyy, watch what you say about John's adopted state. ;-)

    Isn't House's backstory that he's traveled all over creation, both as a child and later in his studies? Ahh, what do I know....

    *thinking about the American "R" and now wondering whether all pirates are actually Americans*

    July 16, 2009

  • Fire away at Jerseyland. It's more like my penitentiary.

    July 16, 2009

  • No amount of House, or even Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster, or anything else I've seen him in will ever stop this sketch from being the first thing I think of when Hugh's name is mentioned.

    July 16, 2009

  • STAN-dards!! :)

    July 16, 2009

  • John: Well, now that you mention it, I do feel that way when I'm working (in NJ)....

    July 16, 2009

  • See monotreme.

    July 17, 2009