ox / bull


Senior Member
Lithuania Czech
Hi, all!
I wonder, how You are saying these words in Your respective languages. The difference is that ox is castrate of a bull (Bos taurus in Latin)
In English:
ox or bullock (castrate)
bull (not castrated)

In German:
ox - Ochse
bull - Bulle

In Czech: (Bos taurus = tur domácí)
ox - vůl(sg.) voli(pl.)
bull - býk(sg.), býci(pl.)

In Slovak:
ox - vôl
bull - býk, bujak

In Lithuanian: (Bos taurus = galvijas)
ox - jautis(sg.), jaučiai(pl.)
bull - bulius(sg.), buliai(pl.)

In Japanese:
ox - 去勢牛(kyose:ushi)
bull - 雄牛(oushi)
Thanks for answers. Lucky day to all.
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  • Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In Portuguese:
    ox - boi
    bull - touro/toiro

    In Spanish:
    ox - buey
    bull - toro

    In French:
    ox - bœuf
    bull - taureau

    I don't understand what you mean by the Bos taurus in parenthesis. :confused:


    Senior Member
    Lithuania Czech
    In Latvian:

    ox - vērsis
    bull - bullis
    Hi, Valdo!
    ox = vērsis in Latvian, really? How do You say calf in Latvian then?
    In Lithuanian veršis = calf, so I'm a little bit confused...

    I don't understand what you mean by the Bos taurus in parenthesis. :confused:
    Bos taurus in parenthesis is scientific name in Latin. It means all of domestic cow species (cattle) without regard to sex, age and so on.
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    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    ox - [...] (not necessarily castrated)
    bull - [...] (especially if used for breeding)
    Although I did not say so above, Hakro's notes apply to Portuguese as well.


    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    kusurija said:
    In Japanese:
    ox - 去勢牛(kyose:ushi)
    bull - 雄牛(oushi)
    If you are looking for the word for he-cattle used for breeding, I prefer 種牛 (tane ushi: seed cattle) to 雄牛 (which is literally a he-cattle).

    On a more theoretical level, I doubt if Japanese does not lack equivalents for ox and bull. As you can see, all words listed here are secondary derivatives from the root ushi (cattle) and other morphemes meaning a he-animal, castrated and so on.

    Respected dairy farmers may disagree but I seldom need to use these words except for ushi for all purposes where other languages require more fastidious distinctions.

    I used cattle as an English equivalent of ushi here but the latter is a countable noun.


    Senior Member
    In Esperanto, the general term for Bos taurus is bovo. If more specificity is required, the following words can be used:

    bull (male): virbovo, taŭro
    steer, ox, bullock (castrated male): ekstaŭro, okso
    cow (female): bovino
    calf (baby): bovido


    Senior Member
    Sorry, I think I made a mistake with the definition of ox, we consider watter buffalo a kind of ox too...

    Вол - ox
    Бивол - water buffalo
    Бизон - buffalo
    Бик - bull


    Senior Member

    Ox: «Βόδι» [ˈvɔ.ði] (neut.) < Byzantine Greek neuter diminutive «βόδι(ο)ν» bódi(o)n of Classical 3rd declension masc. noun «βοῦς» boûs (nom. sing.), «βοός» bŏós (gen. sing.) from PIE *gʷeh₃-u- cow (old IE word retained in many languages: Skt. गु (gu), Lat. bōs, OHG chuo, Old Saxon kō, OIr. bó etc.).

    Bull: «Ταύρος» [ˈtav.rɔs] (masc.) < Classical masc. «ταῦρος» taû̯rŏs identical with Lat. taurus, Lith. taūras, aurochs etc; either from a possible PIE *teh₃u-ro- or -due to comparable forms found in Semitic (Akk. šūru, Aram. tōr)- a loan, either from IE into Semitic or vice versa, or from a third common source.

    Buffalo: «Βούβαλος» [ˈvu.va.lɔs] (masc.), or colloq. «βουβάλι» [vuˈva.li] (neut.) < Byzantine Gr. neuter diminutive «βουβάλι(ο)ν» boubáli(o)n of the Classical masc. «βούβαλος» boúbălŏs or 3rd declension fem. «βούβαλις» boúbălĭs (nom. sing.), «βουβάλι(δ)ος» boubắlĭ(d)ŏs (gen. sing.); the word seems to derive from «βοῦς» but this is rather a secondary association as the formation is unclear. It was borrowed as Lat. būbalus, whence OFr. bufle, Eng. buffalo.
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    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    Sardinian :

    ox - boe (northern Sardinian) - boi (southern Sardinian)
    bull - trau

    In Sardinian there is also a probable cognate of the English "bull" and it's "bulu" which can be traslated as "bovine". It's the contraction of Latin "bubulus" -> bubulu -> bu(bu)lu.

    Bubulus = adjective of/connected with cattle; bull's/cow's/ox-; consisting of cattle; of ox-hide.


    Senior Member
    ox = öküz
    bull = boğa

    ox = ökör
    bull = bika

    As it is easily recognizable, they are Turkic origin (from a Chuvash/Bulgar/Oghur/Lir Turkic language).

    buffalo = bivaly (from a Slavic language)


    Senior Member
    Ukraine, Ukrainian
    бик (young), віл ==(castrate)
    бугай, стадник, тур (wild) ==(not castrated)


    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)

    ox - bou
    bull - toro
    I agree with toro (and also brau) being used exclusively for the not castrated. Hence the name plaça de toros/plaça de braus for the bullrings. (Toro, by the way, being a natural evolution from Old Catalan taur and not a loanword from Spanish, as some would say)

    But in theory, bou is a general term, even if most of us use it for the castrated beast of burden. This is why most proverbs and idioms are with bou, or why Southern Catalonians and Valencians still use bou for the bull (correbous, bous al carrer, etc).


    Senior Member

    ox - вол [vol]; pl. волови [volovi]
    bull - бик [bik]; pl. бикови [bikovi]
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