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Old May 15 2013, 05:26 PM   #8
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Re: Betazoid? why zoid?

It's better than Betazedan or Betazite.

The -oid suffix literally means "resembling," and tends to be used in fiction to refer to creatures that resemble another type of creature. "Android" means "resembling a man," for example. "Humanoid" is a linguistically inaccurate term for humanlike creatures ("hominid" would be more accurate etymologically, though not taxonomically). So you'd usually see the term applied in such descriptive ways, like "felinoid," "insectoid," and the like.

I've seen other aliens in fiction whose names ended in -oid, though usually in less serious contexts, like Buckaroo Banzai's Lectroids. And there are the eponymous creatures of the Metroid video games. I think there's a cheesy B-grade horror movie called Inseminoid. But there must be a fair amount of sci-fi monsters with names ending in -zoid (which would literally mean "resembling an animal"), given that Futurama used "Zoidberg" as a gag alien name. There was a toy line called Zoids once.

Oh, and in the universe of my novel Only Superhuman, there's a cheesy kids' show where the main alien villains are called Zelkoids, so I've done it myself.
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

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