Scientific nameAn internationally agreed and understood label which has been officially attached to each division recognised in taxonomy. Although often called 'Latin names', many of them are not derived from Latin at all. There are strict conventions regarding the use of these names so that there is complete uniformity in the way they are applied. Their purpose is to avoid the confusion and language difficulties inherent in the use of common or 'vernacular' names. The application of scientific names is known as nomenclature.
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From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver