Abominable Snowman

English name for the Yeti of Central Asia.

Etymology: Coined by Calcutta Statesman columnist Henry Newman in 1921 as a translation of the Sherpa (Sino-Tibetan) Metoh-KANGMI, which a telegraphist miscoded as "Metch kangmi." Newman claimed it meant "abominable snowman." The phrase became a popular term with journalists from the 1920s through the 1960s. The name does not come from the creature's supposed horrible odor, as some have alleged. The term also serves as a generic name for unknown Asian hominids. Variant names: ABSM, Snowman. Physical description: See YeTI. Distribution: Himalaya Mountains of Nepal and Tibet.

Sources: Charles K. Howard-Bury, Mount Everest: The Reconnaissance, 1921 (London: Edward Arnold, 1922), p. 241; Henry Newman, Indian Peepshow (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1937), pp. 156-160; Ralph Izzard, The Abominable Snowman (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1955), pp. 28-29.

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