More words for dog

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by francisgranada, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. francisgranada Senior Member


    I've noticed that in some languages there are two words for dog, one "older" and one "newer". The "newer" has, at least partially, replaced the other one and is used more commonly. Examples:

    English: hound, dog
    Hungarian: eb, kutya
    Spanish: can, perro
    Russian: пес, собака (pes, sobaka)

    Do you know about other laguages with two (or more) words for dog?
    (different names for the female and the pups do not count)
  2. Maroseika Moderator

    Hungarian kutya is definitely of Slavic origin, and there is a cognate in Russian too: кутя, кутёнок (puppy).
    As for Russian собака, it is of Turcic or Iranian origin, while пес is much more ancient, and the newer word is really more common, while the older one mostly mean only a male dog. Is the situation the same in Hungarian?
  3. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French, I would say we just have one 'neutral' word: "un chien"
    And for a big, scary guard dog: "un molosse" (from Greek molossos, from the area of Molosses, reknown their huntings dog & guard dogs apparently)
    Then, in slang, we have:
    "un clébard, un clebs, un cabot"
  4. francisgranada Senior Member

    Not definitely ... According to this dictionary kutya is of onomatopoeic origin and similar words are present independently in other languages, too. Furhermore, this word does not exist in all the Slavic languages. Eb is of Finno-Ugric, or at least Ugric origin.
    In Hungarian today in the everyday speech practically only kutya is used. Eb is present in many phrases, proverbs etc. and also in the burocratical language (e.g. ebadó - tribute/tax for holding a dog). Eb may be sometimes (though rarely) used also colloquially, in a negative sense ("big, ugly, dangerous").
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  5. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    In Turkish: it or köpek

    Köpek is the natural word, while it is more slang.
  6. dihydrogen monoxide Senior Member

    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    BCS has many words for dog:
    a) pas (neutral form)
    b) cuko (affectionate word, mainly in Bosnia)
    c) šćene (slightly offensive word,puppy)
    d) džukela (offensive word)
    e) kućka (I think only Serbian)

    As far Slovene goes I know of:
    a) pes (neutral word)
    b) kuža (affectionate word)
    c) ščene (it's a synonym for dog or a small dog (pejorative))
    d) mrcina (offensive)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  7. francisgranada Senior Member

    Doesn't šćene/štene mean the whelp of the dog? (in Slovak šteňa is puppy)
  8. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek has two "old" words for dog; the second is informal and has replaced in the varnacular the other "old" word (which nowadays has become its formal name):

    1-Formal name: «Κύων» ['ci.on] (masc.) < Classical masc. noun «κύων» kúōn --> dog (PIE +*ḱwṓ- / *ḱuon-, dog cf Skt. श्वन् (zvan), dog; Lat. canis > It. cane, Spanish can, Por. cão, Fr. chien, Rom. cǫini, Eng. canine; Lith. šuō)

    2-Informal/vernacular name: «Σκύλος» ['scilos] (masc.) < Koine masc. noun «σκύλος» skúlŏs & «σκύλλος» skúllŏs --> young dog, puppy < Classical masc. noun «σκύλαξ» skúlāks (with the same meaning). The name «σκύλος» skúlŏs has replaced in the vernacular the name «κύων» kúōn at least since Hellenistic times (as Hesychius the Alexandrian attests): «σκύλον τὸν κύνα λέγουσιν» ("they (the mainland Greeks) name the κύων, σκύλος) with obscure etymology, possibly of pre-Greek origin (although its similarity to the Lithuanian skalikas, barking dog, is striking)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  9. Maroseika Moderator

    Maybe this is really just a coincidence, of course, but Hungarian word looks a bit strange among IE cognates. This word exists in Bulgarian, Polish, Slovac, Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, all Eastern Slavic, also Latvian, Albanian, Ossetian and Kurdish, but not in German, for example. With all that Komi and Udmurts words are reckoned to be loaned from Russian.
    Anyway, I'm not a specialists, so cannot insist.
  10. francisgranada Senior Member

    1. I do not insist either, of course :) ... I know about the possible Slavic origin, as one of the alternatives to be taken in consideration. However, in the proper Hungarian there are many dialectal variants of this word that cannot be "simply" explained as different phonetical realizations of a presupposed Slavic loanword (e.g. "kuťa").

    2. Do the Albanian, Ossetic, Kurdish, Latvian, but also Turkic (kuç, ukuç) variants come also from Slavic, or they are independent words or loanwords, e.g. from Turkic? (as the common IE origin seems not probable).

    3. I have never heard any Slovak word similar to kutya meaning "dog". However, theorically I can imagine a Slovak dialectal word like this, but in such case the possibility of Hungarian origin has to be taken in consideration, as well. In other words, if we find the word "kuťa" (or something similar) only in a particular Slovak dialect, then it is quite probable that it is a loanword from Hungarian.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  11. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch: normally hond (affectionately: hondje, diminutive).

    Dog is not impossible but only in the names of certain dogs: Deense doggen, Danish dogs...

    You could of course add special kinds of dogs, male/ female, etc.
  12. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Interesting, Chinese also has two words for "dog".
    "Older" (the classic, traditional, formal one): 犬 quan3
    "Newer" (the common, modern and colloquial one): 狗 gou3
  13. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    ci "dog", bytheiad "hound" (= a type of dog specialized for hunting)

    Another term for hound is helgi = hel- "hunt" + -ci "dog".
  14. dihydrogen monoxide Senior Member

    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    Are there any derogative words for a dog? How do you call a pekingese dog and does it have perhaps the same name in other Chinese "dialects".
  15. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Derogative words? You meant like dirty words?
    狗 (the "newer" and colloquial word for "dog") itself is a common insulting metaphor to name the people you hate.
    For a Pekingese dog, usually we'll think of 京巴 (jing1ba1, literally "Beijing Pug"), but some may argue whether it's the exact term for the exact breed. I don't want to talk too much on breeds and dialects. As you should know, the breeds' names changed from time to time, from place to place, as well as hundreds of dialects in China.
  16. porkkanaraaste Member


    New: koira
    Old: peni

    Peni survives in folk poetry, compound words (peninkulma "distance a dog can be heard from" and derivatives (penikka "puppy", pentu "puppy, cub", penikoida "to pup"). Both words are Proto-Uralic, but koira means dog only in Finnic languages; in other languages it means "male (animal)" or some specific male animal like ox, drone etc.
  17. dihydrogen monoxide Senior Member

    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    Do you happen to know if peni survived in Finnish dialects?
  18. francisgranada Senior Member

    Really interesting. The Hungarian cognate of koira is here that means "testicle". The supposed Uralic proto-word from which koira, here etc ... derive is *koj/*koje which meant "male" and later, in some Ugric languages, also "man" (as opposed to woman). In Hungarian this *koj survives in the form hím ("male").

    This is a good example to illustrate how the meaning of a word can change during the millenia: dog in one language and testicle in an other laguage :)...

    As to my original question, it's also interesting, that the phenomenon of replacing an "original (older)" word for dog with a "newer" one in various languages (independently) is not as rare/exceptional as one might think ...
  19. aruniyan Senior Member

    In Tamil Dog is Naai.

    The Naa represent Naarram(smell), seeking as related to word nose in English.
  20. porkkanaraaste Member

    I'm not sure but I think no.
  21. porkkanaraaste Member

    My Finnish etymological dictionary mentions Hungarian here meaning 1) male animal (koiras in Finnish!) 2) drone i.e. male wasp 3) testicle. Is it correct?
  22. francisgranada Senior Member

    Only the 2) and 3), at least today. Male animal is hím.

    If -s in koiras is the same suffix as in sarvas (Hung. szarvas), than by analogy herés with a bit of phantasy (only in theory) could also mean male animal :). In fact, herés is an existing adjective from here (testicle).
  23. oveka Senior Member

    Ukraine, Ukrainian
    Ukrainian: кутя, цуценя, щеня, цуцик, пес, собака /kutya, tsutsenya, shchenya, tsutsyk, pes, sobak/.

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