A special name for certain animals

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ancalimon, May 26, 2013.

  1. ancalimon Senior Member

    In Turkic languages, there are two words used for dogs.

    For example in Turkish

    it: a regular dog like a street dog or a wild dog.
    köpek: a dog that's better than the rest. A loyal dog that's tamed and maybe a hunter or a special breed.

    Are there such differentiations in your language for certain animals?
  2. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek has three words for dog:

    «Κύων» ['cion] (masc.) < Classical masc. noun «κύων» kúōn (PIE *ḱuō(n)-, dog cf Skt शुनक (zunaka), Lat. canis, Lith. šuō, Ltv. suns)
    «Σκύλος» ['scilos] (masc.) < Classical Greek masc. noun «σκύλος» skúlŏs --> breeding dog, puppy (with obscure etymology, possibly pre-Greek)
    Stray dog --> «κόπρος» ['kopros] (masc.) < Classical Greek masc. noun «κόπρος» kóprŏs --> dung, ordure, filth (PIE *ḱokʷ-r-, dung)

    English too has dog & hound
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    and mutt.
  4. asanga Member

    Many languages have specialized terminology for domesticated animals with specialized functions. These words are often respectful. Conversely, there's also words for domesticated animals that have no special function, or perform it badly. These words tend to be pejorative.

    For example, English has many words for dogs, like hound (chasing quarry in a hunt), terrier (catching burrowing animals), retriever (retrieving a kill in a hunt), and mastiff (a large guard or working dog). Then there's the pejorative mutt and mongrel (dogs that haven't been bred for any purpose).

    Horses have a long association with the elite, so English distinguishes steed (a noble riding horse) from nag (an old or poor horse). French especially has many words for horses, like destrier (a horse for battle), coursier (a fast riding horse), bidet (a small riding horse for a lady) vs. rosse (a nag).

    There's also languages with honorifics. Javanese, for example, has four words for horse---jaran, kapal, titihan / turangga---used to show progressively greater respect (either to the horse itself, the owner of the horse, or the person being addressed). There's honorifics for many animals:

    dog - asu, segawon

    chicken - pitik, ayam

    cow - sapi, lembu

    water buffalo - kebo, maésa

    elephant - gajah, liman

    fish - iwak, ulam


    I think Javanese is fairly unique in having honorifics for so many animals. Lhasa Tibetan, which has an elaborate system of honorifics, AFAIK only has an honorific for one animal, the horse (rta & chibs pa). I don't know other languages with honorifics like Korean or Japanese; maybe they also have different words for most animals..
  5. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    In Russian (and I think in many European languages) the terms are somewhat the opposite of Turkish: we have a general/neutral word for "dog" and then some specific words for dogs that are "worse than the rest".

    Neutral terms:
    собака /sobaka/ - dog (general term)
    пёс /pios/ - dog (usually larger male, slightly more colloquial)

    дворняга /dvornyaga/ - mutt, mix, no-breed dog

    шавка /shavka/ - smaller unpleasant/yappy dog
    псина /psina/ - larger dog (sometimes mean)

    Large categories of working dogs and dog breeds, as well as other characteristics are combined with the word собака or пёс, e.g. служебная / охотничья / сторожевая / добрая / верная собака (service / hound / guard / good / loyal dog)

    The characteristics can be neutral or negative too, e.g. бездомная / паршивая / злая / глупая собака (stray / disease-ridden / mean / stupid dog).

    BTW, "stray dog" and "mutt" are by no means negative trems in Russian, they are just neutral/factual.

    EDIT: I love the Javanese honorific system for animals: Mr. Dog, Dr. Dog, Capt. Dog...:)
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  6. Daffodil100

    Daffodil100 Senior Member

    In Chinese, I am afraid there are two words for dogs as below:

    1. gou: it is usually colloquial. And it is applied to some Chinese sayings with pejorative connotation, i.e. guo yan kan ren di (You look down upon me with your dog eyes. )

    2. quan: it is literal. And it can be used in some modest words, i.e. quan zi (zi =son) This is my dog son. :p The speaker shows being modest to introduce his son to the listener.

    It is generally not interchangeable for guo and quan for Chinese saying or modest terms. Except for that, it is interchangeable when it refers to a dog.
  7. arielipi Senior Member

    In hebrew we have words for many of the stage of development of the animal, but for the animal itself we simply add words to further describe it.
    for example, a dog is puppy->dog(teen)->dog.
  8. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    In Dutch I could imagine :

    - paard vs. ros (metathesis of horse, by the way); the latter one sounds old, formal, chivalresque (?)
    - kat vs. poes (the latter is more affective, could refer to any 'sweet lady')...
    - hond vs. dog (but that has to do with species only: Danish dogs, etc.)
  9. er targyn Senior Member

    In Kazakh köpek means small about animals: köpek iyt (dog), köpek syiyr (cow). It's probably related to Old Kypchak köbelek. (But modern Kazakh köbelek means butterfly < kepeli)
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  10. ancalimon Senior Member

    Interesting. In Turkish "kelebek" (kebelek) means butterfly. But I don't think it's related with smallness originally. I think it's related with being covered (as in a cape covers a human).
  11. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    In Arabic, some animals have more than one name:

    Dog: كلب /kalb/
    Small dog: جرو /jarw/

    قط /qitt/
    هر /hirr/

    حصان /hissān/
    فرس /faras/
    جواد /jawād/
    Small Horse: مهر /muhr/

    Lion (has so many names but those are the most famous):
    أسد /assad/
    سبع /sab'/
    أسامة /ossāma/
    حيدر /haydar/
    عباس /'abbās/
    غضنفر /ghadanfar/
    Lioness: لبؤة /labu'a/
    Small Lion: شبل /shibl/
  12. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I wonder why one animal has that many names... Is it a matter of status in a culture?
  13. er targyn Senior Member

    assad, ossāma ... 2 lions are in battle :)
  14. arielipi Senior Member

    hebrew has many names for lion. ill add later
  15. arielipi Senior Member

    ליש layish
    לביא lavi
    אריה arie (the common word)
    ארי ari
    כפיר kfir lion cub
    שחל shakhal.
    לביאה levi'a lioness

    many of the other animals have many names but its too many for me to write now (no time).
    Just a note to remember which: cow, dog, deer, sheep,
  16. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek too we have a special name for the young lion, «σκύμνος» ['scimnos] (masc. & fem.) < Classical masc. & fem. noun «σκύμνος» skúmnŏs, with obscure etymology (possibly pre-Greek).

    Other special animal names:

    The juvenile dog (puppy) is a «κουτάβι» [ku'tavi] (neut.) < Byz. diminutive «κουτάβιν» koutávin (neut.) --> puppy < a word borrowed from a Medieval unknown (Slavic?) language.
    The young horse is a «πουλάρι» [pu'lari] (neut.) < Byz. Gr. diminutive «πωλάριον» polárion & «πουλάριον» poulárion (neut.), of Classical masc. & fem. noun «πῶλος» pôlŏs --> foal (PIE *pōlH- / *plH-, foal cf Alb. pelë, mare).
    The female horse is a «φοράδα» [fo'raða] (fem.) < Βyz. Gr. fem. noun «φοράς» phorás < Classical fem. third declension noun «φορβάς» pʰŏrbás --> mare, lit. nurturing/feeding horse < Classical v. «φέρβω» pʰérbō --> to feed, nourish, pasture (old agricultural term with obscure etymology).
    The male horse is an «επιβήτορας» [epi'vitoras] < Classical masc. third declension noun «ἐπιβήτωρ» ĕpĭbḗtōr --> stallion < Classical v. «ἐπιβαίνω» ĕpĭbǽnō --> to mount a sexually receptive female.
    The male goat is a «τράγος» ['traɣos] (masc.) < Classical masc. noun «τράγος» trắgŏs --> he/billy-goat, lit. gnawer (onomatopoeic root *treh₃- / *treǵ-, to gnaw).
    The male sheep is a «κριάρι» [kri'ari] (neut.) < Byz. Gr. diminutive «κριάριον» kriárion < Classical masc. noun «κριός» krīós --> ram (with obscure etymology).
    The female sheep is an «αρνάδα [ar'naða] (fem.) < Byz. Gr. fem. noun «ἀρνάς» arnás < late female form of Koine neut. noun «ἀρνίον» ărníŏn --> lamb (see below)
    The juvenile sheep is an «αρνί» [ar'ni] (neut.) < Koine diminutive «ἀρνίον» ărníŏn (neut.) --> lamb < Classical masc. noun «ἀρήν» ārḗn --> sheep (PIE *urh₁-en- / *urh₁-ēn-, lamb cf Skt. उरण (uraNa), sheep, ram; Arm. գառ (gar), lamb).
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  17. arielipi Senior Member

    a better note to that would be: any animal that was domesticated would have many names, and local animals would have more than one name as well (just like humans have words for phases in life, so do animals);
    the generic name of an animal would be the adult phase male (with some exceptions such as cow, cat, bee, dove, sheep, bird, chicken, wasp, ant):
    also there are collectibles for some animals (similar to herd); also each (domesticated mostly, and to some undomesticated) animal has its own house name.

    a lion group is called להקה lehaka - pack (generic name for (wild animals mostly) pack in hebrew).
    בהמה, מקנה, בקר behema, mikne (archaic), bakar - generic name for beast (but domesticated: cow, horse, sheep etc), when group is called עדר eder - herd (generic name for (only) domesticated animals)
    גמל, בכר, נאקה gamal, becher, ne'aka - camel, camel (young), camel (female), group eder.
    דבורה dvorah bee, group נחיל nekhil/nakhil.
    נמלה nemala ant group as above.
    חמור, אתון, עיר khamor, aton, ayir - donkey, donkey (female), donkey (young).
    יונה, תור yona, tor (male pigeon).
    כבשה, רחל, רחלה, כבש kivsa, rakhel, rekhela, keves - sheep x2(adult female), sheep (female young), sheep (male), טלה tale young male sheep, lamb, also שה se.
    עז, עזה ez, iza - goat female, תיש tayish - goat male, גדי gdi - young male goat.

    כלב kelev כלבה kalba - dog male dog female, כלבלב klavlav - male puppy.
    סוס sus, male adult horse, סייח male young horse (also for donkey), susa female horse סוסה.
    פרה para female adult, פר par male adult, שור shor male adult castrated, עגל egel young male, עגלה eglah young female cow.
    צרעה tzir'a female wasp, דבור dabur male hornet.
    תרנגולת tarnegolet female adult, תרנגול tarnegol male adult, גבר gever male adult, אפרוח efro'akh young, chicken.
    ציפור tzipor female adult, עוף of male adult, גוזל gozal young, bird.
    גזל is the root used to make 'rob' words, and the gozal is robbing his parents time.
    פרח is used to make 'blossom/thrive' words, and the efro'akh can walk from its birth.

    יען ya'en, בת-יענה bat-ya'ana - ostrich.
    יעל ya'el male adult, יעלה ye'ela female adult, גדי gdi young male, ibex.
    אייל ayal male adult deer, איילה ayala female adult doe, איילת ayelet female adult doe, עופר ofer young male fawn, יחמור yakhmur fallow deer.
    צבי tzvi male adult, צביה tzviya female adult, עופר ofer young, gazelle.

    ארנבת arnevet female adult hare, ארנב male adult. ארנבון arnavon rabbit.
    שפן shafan hyrax.
    אווז avaz male adult, אווזה avaza female adult, goose.
    ברווז barvaz male adult, ברווזה barvaza female adult, duck.
    ברכיה brechiya ,mallard.

    תנין tanin crocodile, אליגטור aligator, תמסח timsakh is another word for crocodile.
    פרד pered פרדה pirda are mule and hinny.

    in general hive insects will be female and solo insects will be male; productive mammals will be female, and helpful mammals will be male.
  18. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek the pack/troop of animals is «αγέλη» [aʝeli] (fem.) < Classical fem. noun «ἀγέλη» ăgélē --> pack, troop, herd (PIE *h₂eǵ-, to drive, lead cf Skt. अजति (Ajati), to drive, propel; Lat. agere, to do, act). In Ancient Greek it was the generic name of herd, in Modern Greek it's reserved only for wild animals.
    The generic name of a domesticated animal is «ζώο» ['zo.o] (neut.) < Classical neut. noun «ζῷον» zộŏn --> animal or (colloquial) «ζωντανό» [zonda'no] --> living being (both from PIE *gʷeyh₃w-, to live cf Skr. जीवति (jIvati), Lat. vivere). The domesticated animal herd is «κοπάδι» [ko'paði] (neut.)< Koine diminutive «κοπάδιον» kŏpádiŏn (neut.) of Classical neut. noun «κόπαιον» κópæŏn --> piece (with obscure etymology). The sheep herd has its own name, «πρόβατα» ['provata](neut. pl.) < Classical neuter noun «πρόβατα» próbātă --> small cattle, especially sheep < Classical v. «προβαίνω» prŏbǽnō --> to stride forward; the name describes movable property as opposed to immovable property. Similar concept in ON ganganda, going cattle (living stock), Hitt. iyant-, going sheep, participle of v. ija-, to go.
    Bees (and other flying insects, e.g. locusts) form a «σμήνος» ['sminos] (neut.) < Classical neut. noun «σμῆνος» smênŏs --> swarm (with unknown etymology). The worker bee (the insect's generic name, is «μέλισσα» ['melisa] (fem.) < Classical fem. noun «μέλισσα» mélissă and «μέλιττα» mélittă, PIE *melit-, honey) is an «εργάτρια» [er'ɣatri.a] (fem.), the female form of masc. noun «εργάτης» [er'ɣatis] < Classical masc. noun «ἐργάτης» ĕrgátēs --> worker (PIE *uerǵ-, work). The queen bee is the «βασίλισσα» [va'silisa] (fem.) < late female form of Classical masc. noun «βασιλεύς» băsileús --> king (with obscure etymology), while the male bee is a «κηφήνας» [ci'finas] < Classical third declension masc. noun «κηφήν» kēpʰḗn --> drone bee (with obscure etymology possibly of pre-Greek origin).
    The female dog is «σκύλα» ['scila] (fem.) < Classical fem. noun «σκῦλα» skûlă and «σκύλαινα» skúlǣnă (with obscure etymology).
    The female pig is «σκρόφα» ['skrofa] (fem.) < Byz. Gr. «σκρόφα» skrópha (fem.) --> sow < Lat. scrōfa.
    The cow is «αγελάδα» [aʝe'laða] (fem.) < Koine fem. noun «ἀγελάς» ăgĕlás --> cow, from the Classical fem. noun «ἀγέλη» ăgélē --> pack, troop, herd. It lit. means animal belonging to a herd.
    The male bovine is «ταύρος» ['tavros] (masc.) < Classical masc. noun «ταῦρος» taûrŏs --> bull (PIE *teh₂u-ro-, bull cf Lat. taurus; Lith. taūras, aurochs).
    The castrated male bovine is «βόδι» ['voði] (neut.), dialectal «βόιδι» ['vo.iði] (neut.) < Classical diminutive «βοΐδιον» bŏḯdiŏn (neut.) of Classical masc. noun «βοῦς» boûs --> ox (PIE *gʷeh₃-u-, cow, bull, ox cf Skt. गव (gAua), cow, cattle; Lat. bōs).
    The juvenile bovine is «μοσχάρι» [mo'sxari] (neut.) < Koine diminutive «μοσχάριον» mosxárion of Classical masc. noun «μόσχος» móskʰŏs --> calf, lit. offshoot (PIE *mosǵʰo-, young animal)
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  19. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    As Arabic and Hebrew are Semitic languages, I added similar Arabic equivalents in red

  20. arielipi Senior Member

    i should add that מקנה, בקר mikne, bakar are the group words for general domesticated farm animals (sheep/camels/cows etc) that is if i have mikne of 40, it can be 40 sheep, 40 camels etc.
    גור gur is translation of cub/puppy, and can be used in hebrew wherever it is used in english.
  21. xmarabout

    xmarabout Senior Member

    French - Belgium
    IN French, we also have several names for each animal (specially domestic animals). Then usually you have the general name of the animal, you have a scientific name, you have a name for the male, a name for the female and a name for the cub/puppy.

    Sheep: Mouton (general name, name for the butcher), ovin (scientific), bélier (male), brebis (female), agneau (young)
    Horse: Cheval (general), Etalon (male), Jument (female), poulain (young male), pouliche (young female), foal (young horse of 1 year), ...

    You also have a lot of other names if you enter in the colloquial language.

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