Example of an occlupanid (Archignatha)

Yesterday I discovered an interesting new word – occlupanid, which is defined by the Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group as follows:

“Occlupanids are generally found as parasitoids on bagged pastries in supermarket biomes, although a few species are found on vegetables and bulk grains, and one notable species (Uniporus) is found exclusively on vent tubing bags. Their fascinating and complex life cycle is unfortunately severely under-researched. What is known is that they take nourishment from the plastic sacs that surround the bagged product, not the product itself, as was previously thought. They often situate themselves toward the center of the plastic bag, holding in the contents. This leads to speculation that the relationship may be more symbiotic than purely parasitic.”

The common name for occlupanid is apparently breadtie, and the HORG is dedicated to the taxonomic classification of the breadties of the world. They provide details about different species of occlupanid – the one on the right is an archignatha (“first tooth”), for example – the morphology of their names, and their taxonomy and history. The term occlupanid comes from the Latin occlūdere (to shut up, to close) and the Greek παγ (pan – bread), which is also found in pancreas (“sweet bread”).

What do you call these things?

This entry was posted in English, Etymology, Greek, Language, Latin.

6 Responses to Occlupanid

  1. Yenlit says:

    I haven’t seen one of these featured and rather facetiously named ‘occlupanids’ for donkey’s years, not in the UK anyway. I know that where I am you can still buy bread packaged in the old fashioned waxed paper bags namely Warburtons at least in the NW of England but do they still make and use occlupanids in the bread and baking industry?
    Without ever knowing these little plastic thingumijig doodah pieces of ephemera had a specific name, I would’ve called it vaguely something like a bread bag plastic clip or tie.

  2. Sandra says:

    Actually, the pan- part in pancreas is Greek but means “all”. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pancreas
    The “pan” element of compound words, meaning “bread”, is from Latin panis= bread (origin of French word, among others, “pain”). Remember “panem and circenses”?
    As for the occlupanids, there seemed to be a craze about them a few years ago but less now. I guess everybody realised that while they supposedly allowed you to open and close the bag several times they were mostly lost on the way back after shopping or they fell apart the first time you tried to reuse them. Love the name evoking pictures of mites, though ;-).

  3. Yenlit says:

    Yeah, Sandra’s right and I don’t know why I didn’t notice it myself but in modern Greek ‘bread’ is ψωμί (psomí) or άρτος (ártos) in ancient Greek.

    Apologies if the Greek gets scrambled in the formating.

  4. Drabkikker says:

    This is one of those cool things which are extremely recognizable, yet don’t seem to have a name other than ad hoc attempts at description. In Dutch I would go for something like broodzakkendichthouder ‘bread bag shutter’ or broodclip ‘bread clip’, knowing full well that this doesn’t cover their function properly and could also be used to refer to these fellas.

    But an official name must exist; otherwise their manufacturers would be stuck to exchanges like Yo, hey, like, howbout that delivery of, ya know, those, like, plasticcy things you put on the end of bread sacks, like? No, not the metally bendy ones; the squarish plastic flat ones with the hole in them – or, well, hole, thing, stuff.
    Same with nuts, bolts, fenders and whatnot: actual official lists exist in which every single variety has its own name. Fascinating material.

    Whatever the bread bag shutter is called, there’s art of it:

  5. Yenlit says:

    According to the Kwik-lok Corporation the original inventors and manufactors of the ‘occlupanid’ they simply call it a ‘plastic bag closure’.

  6. Laura S. says:

    These are definitely still common in the States–at least, in Florida and Arizona. In fact, a few days ago I saw one at a friend’s house; it was keeping closed a bag of wasabi peas and had a tiny slip of paper attached to it, so the purchaser could write down the identifying code of its contents to pay for them at checkout.

    To avoid confusion with twisty ties (which Drabkikker refers to), I call these “clips,” dropping even the “bread” since they can be used for so much more. 🙂

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