Animals meaning things

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Encolpius, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Hello, do you remember any animal meaning a thing, object in your language?
    There are about 30-40 such animals in Hungarian, I can recall the English mouse and beetle now only.
  2. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    First things that came to mind (there are more I'm sure)

    собака (dog) or лягушка (frog) = the @ sign
    мышь (mouse) - computer mouse
    конь (male horse) - pommel horse (gymnasics equipment)
    кошки (саts) - crampons (ice climbing equipment)
    змейка (little snake) - colloquial name for zipper
    гусеницы (caterpillars) - caterpillar tracks (what a tank has for wheels)
    ёрш (riffe (fish)) - bottlebrush (brush on a handle)
    утка (duck) - hospital bedpan

    Some more English words:
    butterfly - colloquial word for winged infusion set / butterfly needle
    snake - a device to clean clogged pipes
    fly - zipper in the front of trousers
    crane - construction lifting equipment

    EDIT: Can you provide some examples in Hungarian since we're sharing? :p
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  3. Rallino Moderatoúrkos


    Fare (mouse) - computer mouse
    Kelebek (butterfly) - This type of pocket knife
    Ördek (duck) - a chamber pot (for sick people that can't get up out of the bed)

    And I don't know if these count but:
    At (horse) - Throw! (imperative)
    İt (slang for 'dog') - Push! (imperative)
  4. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    «Ποντίκι» [pon'dici] (neut.) --> mouse, computer mouse
    «Ίππος» ['ipos] (masc.) --> horse, pommel horse in gymnastics
    «Πεταλούδα» [peta'luða] (fem.) --> butterfly, butterfly valve, the pocket knife in Rallino's post
    «Παπαγάλος» [papa'ɣalos] (masc.) --> parrot, a specific lifting machinery (I'm afraid I don't know its name in English)
    «Κάβουρας» ['kavuras] (masc.) --> crab, plumber wrench
    «Κοχύλι» [ko'çili] (neut.) --> seashell, pasta shaped as seashell (conchiglioni)
    «Δελφίνι» [ðel'fini] (neut.) --> dolphin (or flying dolphin), a passenger hydrofoil for connection with islands of Aegean Sea
    «Πάπια» ['papça] (fem.) --> duck, chamber pot
    «Σκυλάδικο» [sci'laðiko] (neut.) --> doghouse, a specific genre of Greek folk music characterized by bad lyrics, second class performers and loud music, also the name of the club this bad music is performed
    «Σκύλος» ['scilos] (masc.) --> dog, the male performer of «σκυλάδικο»
    «Σκυλού» [sci'lu] (fem.) --> dog, the female performer of «σκυλάδικο»; note that it's «σκυλού» and not «σκύλα» ['scila] for the latter is a vulgarity and means b*tch

    I'm sure there must be more but I can't think of any right now.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  5. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French, common ones, followed by technical terms I was not aware of:

    French word................ animal................. object...........................................................................
    baleine whale whalebone, rib,…
    bélier ram ram
    blaireau badger shaving brush
    boa boa boa
    bouc goat goatee
    canard duck a (bad) newspaper, [music] a false note, sugar lump dipped in coffee,...
    canari canari In Africa, recipient to hold drinking water
    chenille caterpillar caterpillar
    chien dog Several meanings, among them: guns, hammer, cock
    étalon stallion standard
    grue crane crane
    loup wolf mask
    mouche fly beauty spot
    papillon butterfly Several meanings, among them: (parking) ticket
    souris mouse mouse

    And some technical terms for which I don't have a translations
    French word................ Animal.................. Some meanings...........................................................................
    bœuf ox
    colombe dove
    crapaud toad flaw in a jewel, a baby grand piano, a squat armchair
    corbeau raven, crow
    dauphin dolphin heir apparently
    grenouille frog
    mouton sheep
    ours bear teddy bear + technical term
    perroquet parrot cocktail + on a boat, square sail
    perruche budgerigar apparently like perroquet
    renard fox
    scorpion scorpio
    serpent snake musical instrument

    We may also add in English:

    as we have in French

    And there are also a lot of animals used to refer to a person but that's a different story!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  6. ancalimon Senior Member

    I want to add to Rallino's list for Turkish.

    "at" meaning "horse" also means "to be taken to somewhere else". For example when you get on a taxi, you can say: "Beni Taksim'e at" "take me to Taksim". It also sounds very similar to "ad" meaning "name".

    "eşek" meaning donkey also means "someone who is a bit stupid"
    "dana, öküz" meaning "bull, ox" also means "someone who is rude, vulgar"
    "inek" meaning "cow" means "nerd, geek"
    "tavşan" meaning "rabbit" means "swift, agile"
    "tilki" meaning "fox" means "cunning"
    "kuzu" meaning "lamb" also means "someone who is easily controlled", "someone who is controlled willingly"
    "koç" meaning "ram" also means "brave, healthy". Koç Başı (head of the ram) is "battering ram".
    "yılan" meaning "snake" also means "the one who gave up" "the one who got afraid".
    "geyik" meaning "deer" also means "schmooze"
    "koyun" meaning "sheep" also means "put it!"
    "balık" meaning "fish" also means "naive"
    "doğan" meaning "peregrine" also means "the one that rises (like the sun)"
    "baykuş" meaning "owl" literally means "mr. bird" as known by most of the people. but it actually means "holy bird" or "rich bird" or "lord bird"
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  7. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Also in Greek:

    «Παπάκι» [pa'paci] (neut.) --> duckling, sign @
    «Γορίλ(λ)ας» [ɣo'rilas] (masc.) --> gorilla, thug/henchman
    «Φίδι» ['fiði] (neut.) --> snake, sneaky person
    «Γομάρι» [ɣo'mari] (neut.) --> donkey (colloquialism), musclehead, shameless person
    «Αγελάδα» [aʝe'laða] (fem.) --> cow, the sound of police car siren, the dry cement transport tanker, the demijohn (container), the busty woman (offensive)
    «Αμοιβάδα» [ami'vaða] (fem.) --> amoeba, the dull-witted person
    «Ψάρι» ['psari] (neut.) --> fish, the new recruit (army slang)
  8. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Thank you for the excellent list, feel free to copy a link if you dear members cannot find a long list, it would be appreciated as well.
    Since there is such a great interest :D in the Hungarian words here is the whole list, but I'd list the most common words here:

    bak 1. billy-goat, buck 2. vaulting-horse
    csiga 1. snail 2. pulley
    daru crane
    egér mouse
    fecske 1. swallow 2. swimming trunks
    kacsa 1. duck 2. urinal
    kos 1. ram 2. battering ram
    poloska 1. bedbug 2. a small hidden device for listening to other people's conversations
    sikló 1. ringed snake 2. funicular
    vipera 1. viper 2. "extendo"
    zebra 1. zebra 2. zebra crossing
  9. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Things? :D Feel free to open a new topic if you are interested...
  10. bibax Senior Member


    kohout = cock --- stopcock (valve);
    kohoutek = little cock (cockerel) --- 1. faucet, (water) tap 2. (gun) trigger;
    kočka = cat --- the free part of the block-and-tackle with the lifting hook;
    pes = dog --- power extension cord with multiple outlet strip (230 V);
    papoušek = parrot --- parrot tile nibbler/nipper/plier (for making holes in the tiles);
    motýlek = little butterfly --- 1. bow tie 2. wingnut (a nut with two metal "wings");
    muška = little fly --- 1. front sight of a firearm 2. artificial beauty mark;
    bažant = pheasant --- a portable receptacle for urine;
    beran = ram --- 1. battering ram 2. rubber stamp;
    jeřáb = crane (Grus grus) --- crane;
    ježek = hedgehog --- 1. Czech hedgehog (an anti-tank obstacle defence) 2. many other things; 
    kůň = horse --- vaulting horse;
    koza = she-goat --- vaulting buck;
    koník = little horse --- tailstock (a part of the lathe);
    krokodýlek = little crocodile --- crocodile clip;
    štěnice = bedbug (Cimex lectularius) --- bug (an electrical device with microphone);
    šnek = snail (Helix pomatia) --- screw, worm (in a screw/worm gear);
    červík = little worm --- grub screw (a small headless screw);
    žabka = little frog --- frog (a part of the bow/fiddlestick);
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  11. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    IN Dutch, but there might be more :
    - haan (cock) of a gun
    - ezel (easel but also donkey...) for painting
    - haas can refer to excellent meat, but the etymology does not refer to a hare, I am afraid
    - slang (like a waterhose)
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  12. Maroseika Moderator

    Some more Russian names:

    журавль - crane (shadoof)
    бык - bull (pier of bridge)
    утка - duck (canard, false report)
    воронок - small raven (patrol wagon), but actually from its colour - glossy black, like raven's or crow's
    жучок - small beetle (makeshift electrical fuse; hidden listening device; programme bug)
    змейка - small snake (zigzag, serpentine)
    собачка - small dog (trigger, self-locking latch, cocking piece in the pistol)
    конёк - small steed (roof ridge; skates; favourite subject)
    конь - steed (pommel or vaulting horse)
    козел - goat (cementing plug or any plug of the melting oven; game of domino)
    she-goat - wagon for long-length; device for carrying bricks on on shoulders
    ёж - hedgehog (obstructive antitank device)
    кабанчик - small wild boar (control horn in aviation)
    крокодил - crocodile (alligator clip)
    морж - walrus (winter swimmer)
    лягушка - frog (pedal pump for air-beds, rubber boats, etc.)
    канюка - buzzard (whimperer)
    кукушка - cuckoo (small steam locomotive; Finnish sniper)
    трутень - drone (sponger)
    улитка - snail (water pump elbow; film reel of developing photo-tank)
    белочка - small squirell (delirium tremens)
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  13. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Very nice and useful list, too, Maroseika, thank you!
  14. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek too:
    «Κριός» [kri'os] (masc.) --> ram, aries (zodiac), battering ram
    «Κοριός» [ko'rʝos] (masc.) --> bedbug, phone bug/tap
    «Γερανός» [ʝera'nos] (masc.) --> stork, lifting crane
    «Κόκκορας» ['kokoras] (masc.) --> cock/rooster, cock of gun

    «Σαλίγκαρος» [sa'liŋgaros] (masc.) --> snail, snail fan

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