from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The belief that in the case of siblings from the same mother but different fathers the second sibling could inherit characteristics from the father of the first
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The supposed influence of a father upon offspring subsequent to his own, begotten of the same mother by another father.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In biology, the supposed influence of a first sire upon the progeny subsequently borne by the mother to other sires. Most breeders are believers in telegony, although careful experiments have failed to show any scientific basis for their opinion.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It is called telegony and is, briefly, this: that conception by a female results in a definite modification of her germ-plasm from the influence of the male, and that this modification will be shown in the offspring she may subsequently bear to a second male.
This article from Pedigree Dynamics, Conception and Misconceptions: a lightheaded look at breeding theories of the past (PDF format), tells how, despite scientific acceptance elsewhere of Mendelian genetics, theories such as telegony and 'mental impression' survived in the thoroughbred horse breeding industry well into the 20th century.
Even science was influenced by the old sympathetic magic view that woman could be contaminated by the touch of any other man than her husband, for the principle of telegony, that the father of one child could pass on his characteristics to offspring by other fathers, lingered in biological teaching until the very recent discoveries of the physical basis of heredity in the chromosomes.
Pre-natal culture and telegony were found to be mere delusions.
The idea of telegony, the persistent influence of the first mating, may be invoked to explain this discrepancy.
In such a case as the one quoted, the explanation is undoubtedly that the supposed father is not the real one; and this explanation will dispose of all other cases of telegony which can not be explained, as in most instances they can be, by the mixed ancestry of the offspring and the innate tendency of all living things to vary.
The same may be said as to the theory of telegony.
And the condition, which supposes that the maternal organism is, so to speak, infected, by the male congress, is called telegony.
` ` But it is not only in relation to color that we find telegony to have been noticed in the human subject.
In a systematic discussion of telegony before the Royal Medical Society, Edinburgh, on March 1, 1895, 2.170 Brunton Blaikie, as a means of making the definition of telegony plainer by practical example, prefaced his remarks by citing the classic example which first drew the attention of the modern scientific world to this phenomenon.