Word Ways


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HeLa is a strain of human cervical cancer cells widely used in tissue-culture research. It is named after the original donor Hedy Lamarr sorry Henrietta Lacks and is now regarded as a word. This nomenclature style is reminiscent of "Animal Crackers" in May 2005 Word Ways where the first three letters of an animal's genus and species names made words; eg, the chimney swift Chaetura pelagica yields chapel. This led me to wonder how many words can be formed by shortening famous names to the first two letters of their first and last name. My best results first, cases in which the tetragram word has an AFFINITY with the person. I found a disappointingly small number, and most of those had only a general affinity.