Tag Archives: interest-animals

  1. They Call It Puppy Love And Other Animal-inspired Phrases

    We often attribute emotions and other human characteristics to animals. This is called anthropomorphism. Similarly, we also describe people using animal characteristics. You might, for example, say my teenage son “eats like a horse,” meaning he’s a growing boy and consumes a lot of food. This is called zoomorphism. Zoomorphism also includes assigning animal-like qualities to gods and inanimate objects. The term comes from the Greek …

  2. Foxy, Catty, Fishy: Are These Traits For Animals Or Humans?

    Catty It seems horribly unfair to adorable cats that catty is a human descriptor meaning “devious or spiteful” (and usually in reference to female behavior). What gives? The word cat has been around since the year 700. But then, in the Middle Ages, cat became one of the many offensive terms against women and was slang for “prostitute.” The association might have been made because …

  3. A Smack Of Jellyfish And Other Strange Animal Groups

    What do hunting and sexual desires have in common? We could point to several things, but from a linguistic point of view, we’re referring to the archaic word venery, which means both hunting (from the Latin venor) and sexual desire (from Latin veneria, referring to Venus). Strangely, terms of venery is a collective noun that means a group of animals. And, many of these animal …

  4. Why Does A Cow Become Beef?

    Have you ever stopped to wonder why we eat pork and beef, but not pig or cow? Menus don’t advertise sheep or deer, but mutton and venison. And, we nonchalantly nosh on veal without the linguistic reminder that we’re actually eating meat from a baby calf. When it comes to designating meat terminology, the English language has a few ways of distinguishing between the live …

  5. Woof, Blaf, Or Voff? How Animals Speak Across The World

  6. What’s The Difference Between A Bunny, A Rabbit, And A Hare?

    Let’s start with the two that have scientific names. Hares and rabbits are both in the family Leporidae, but they’re separate species. Both animals have long ears, powerful back legs, and a divided upper lip. But, hares are larger than rabbits. And, instead of creating burrows, hares make nests in the grass. The exposed nesting sites of hares hint at another big difference—when they’re born. Hares are precocial, …

  7. Wearing A Cat On Your Head: Animal Idioms From Around The World

  8. “Pup-ular” Words To Use During The Doggone Puppy Bowl

    There are two big games scheduled on Super Bowl Sunday. For sports fans, there’s the football game, sure. But for fans of furry adorableness, Animal Planet will be returning with their annual Puppy Bowl. Team Ruff tangles with Team Fluff for all the marbles. Or all the kibble, if you will. Prepare yourself for the ultimate puppy showdown with some phrases inspired by man’s best …

  9. Getty

    Where Did Narwhals Get Their Name?

    It’s likely no surprise that around here, we delight in animals with interesting names—from zedonk to beefalo. One of the few creatures that can top the zedonk for linguistic and zoological oddness  is the narwhal. If you’ve ever seen a creature that looks like a whale with a unicorn horn, you might imagine it’s been Photoshopped. But that’s not fiction—that’s a narwhal. Where did the …

  10. What’s The Difference Between “Possum” vs. “Opossum”?

    The most famous marsupial of the moment is Heidi, the cross-eyed opossum from Germany. Heidi has made headlines across the globe and has over 200,000 fans on Facebook. Enough with the cuteness, and on to a great story of language: What is the difference between possum and opossum? The answer is more complex and interesting than you might think. The opossum received its name in the …