Origin of walrus
Words nearby walrus
BEHIND THE WORD
Where does the word walrus come from?
The walrus is, no doubt, a funny-looking animal. It’s got a droopy, hangdog kind of face, grumpy-old-man whiskers, and two ludicrous-looking tusks. (No offense to any walruses who may be reading this.)
So, it seems fitting that walrus also has a funny origin story: it may literally mean “whale-horse.” Well, that’s a theory.
The origins of the word walrus are disputed. In fact, the writer of the famous Lord of the Rings books, J. R. R. Tolkien, came up with no fewer than six different possible origins of the word.
Anyway, even if it’s not entirely true, the story goes that walrus comes from Dutch. Walvis means “whale” and ros means “horse.” Combine it all together and a walrus is a “whale-horse.” Which, if you look at this wonderful animal, seems like a fitting name for it.
The roots of these other words may get a rise—of laughter or surprise—out of you too. Run on over to our roundup of them at “Weird Word Origins That Will Make Your Family Laugh.”
Did you know … ?
- The walrus’s tusks aren’t just for show: they use them to fend off predators, and the top males are the ones with the longest tusks.
- You can even tell how old a walrus is based on its tusks.
- Walrus tusks also help tell them apart from the similar animals of seals and sea lions, if these groups of animals confuse you.
- The word walrus only has one L and one S, so watch out for misspelling it as “wallrus” or “walruss.”
The walrus’s whiskers are so memorable that a person with a droopy moustache is said to have a walrus moustache.
How to use walrus in a sentence
Human disturbances can trigger deadly stampedes and lead to high walrus mortality.How AI can help forecast how much Arctic sea ice will shrink|Gloria Dickie|September 14, 2021|Science News
Desperate polar bears may increasingly attack walruses, but “there are limitations to how many walruses an adult bear can take down,” says coauthor Kristin Laidre, an Arctic ecologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.
This review suggests that tool use in wild polar bears, though infrequent, does occur in the case of hunting walruses because of their large size, the researchers report in the June Arctic.
The region was once known to scientists as the “last ice area” for its thick, year-round plates of ice critical for the survival of polar bears, seals and walruses.Last Month Was the Hottest June in North America in Recent Recorded History|Aryn Baker|July 7, 2021|Time
Her work has appeared in The Walrus, Toronto Life, Hazlitt, This, and The Guardian.
The skin of the walrus is an inch thick, wrinkled, and covered with very short hair of different colours.
The walrus is easily distinguished by its long tusks, a character which we find peculiar to that and the elephant.
We have only seen two heads on this subject, which resembled that of the walrus more than any other animal.
Like the kayaks, it was covered with seal-skin; or perhaps it might have been the hide of the walrus.
We then took the captain with us to see their huts and our walrus-skin tent.