Author Topic: Ptomaine  (Read 2140 times)


  • Paronomaniac
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« on: January 16, 2014, 11:47:59 AM »
This was listed as a common word in yesterday's standard puzzle.  I question its commonness.


  • Eulexic
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Re: Ptomaine
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 05:55:11 PM »
As a teenager I devoured 'body in the conservatory' whodunnits by the shelfload, so I learned the names of all the popular poisons - curare, cyanide, arsenic and ptomaine among others.
Have to agree though, unless you've studied pharmacology or been an Agatha Christie fanatic, such words are unlikely to be part of your everyday vocabulary.



  • Eulexic
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Re: Ptomaine
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 05:06:55 AM »
Not in the context of mysteries and deliberate malice, but I've heard the phrase "ptomaine poisoning" often - as in "food poisoning."  Apparently it's not used much any more.

Alan W

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Re: Ptomaine
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 02:57:06 PM »
Like birdy, I think of the word in association with food poisoning. But apparently it's been established that the compounds known as ptomaines are not toxic and do not cause food poisoning. So my impression that the word is fairly common is probably out of date. The attached graph from Google Ngrams tells the tale.

I don't think ptomaine should remain as a common word.
Alan Walker
Creator of Lexigame websites