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  • ...the surfing community, of which, because of his xanthocroid looks, they had singled out Howie as typical.

    - Thomas Pynchon, Vineland

    September 2, 2008

  • I understand the xantho- part ("yellow" or here, probably, "blond"), but where does the -croid come from?

    September 2, 2008

  • This spelling is an error for 'xanthochroid', which can be analysed as coming from either ochr- "pale" or chro- "skin". Huxley, the coiner of the original noun 'Xanthochroi', apparently intended the former (according to the OED).

    September 2, 2008

  • Should this be xanthochroid (with no "r" after the "th")? And would it mean, then either "yellow-skinned" (jaundiced? East Asian?) or "pale yellow"? Presumably Pynchon is using it in the sense of "sun-bleached blond".

    September 2, 2008

  • Yes, I've just noticed I made that mistake. Fixed.

    September 2, 2008