Questions about terms for animals and their accoutrements

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0
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2answers
92 views

What determines gender-specific names used for different animal species? [closed]

What determines which male/female terms to use for different animal species? For example: "Bull versus cow" is used for cattle, elephants, and camels "Boar versus sow" is used for pigs, badgers, ...
2
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2answers
1k views

When did dogs start “wagging” their tails?

An earlier question of mine What does a cat's tail do? got me thinking. When did dogs begin to wag their tails? And do any other animals wag? According to Google, very few books have ever been ...
5
votes
6answers
369 views

What does a cat's tail do?

A friendly dog will wag its tail, especially when it's happy to see his owner. Cats can communicate their approval and appreciation too, but I don't remember ever hearing a cat wagging its tail for ...
0
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3answers
150 views

Why does the police use “K-9 Unit” instead of “dog”?

Throughout North America, I keep seeing police cars labeled "K-9 unit". I know "K-9" is a homophone of "canine", but why don't they just use "Police dog"?
2
votes
2answers
901 views

Is “deers” correct when referring to different species?

The plural of deer is deer, but if you are referring to different species of deer, would it be correct to say "deers"? Considering that the plural of fish is fish, but when referring to different ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Suffix '-ine' vs. suffix '-like'

In previous questions we have learnt how to use words like 'asinine', 'bovine', 'canine' and 'feline', so, after some deep thoughts, a doubt arose to my mind: why does English, in some cases, not ...
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2answers
73 views

Usage of 'bovinely' when fastness or slowness are involved

I know that in English 'I tried to go as slow as possible' and 'I tried to go as fast as possible' have a very different meaning, but I'm unsure how 'bovinely', before 'possible', change that ...
-1
votes
1answer
409 views

Adjectives that describe the general shape of fishes

My question has to do with the adjectives one can use to describe the very general shape of a fish if we think of these three axes: tail-to-head axis back-to-belly axis side-to-side axis Question ...
48
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8answers
8k views

Polite alternative to the term “bitch” when referring to a female dog

I'm writing an example of constructing logic, and I need to differentiate between an adult female dog, an adult male dog and a puppy and am searching for polite terms. Unfortunately, the word "bitch" ...
-2
votes
1answer
195 views

What are the most well-understood vocal animal languages? [closed]

Just as the Bee dance, for a "language", I mean that there are vocal pattens. In the nature, there are many intelligent animals like human beings. Bird songs, whale songs, dogs? In fact, bird ...
11
votes
5answers
27k views

What is the difference between “rooster” vs. “cock” and “hen” vs. “chicken”?

When I was small and started to study English, I had pictures labelled cock, hen and chicken. Now when I search the net for pictures for showing to my children, I see the same pictures, but this ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Do words for male animals include those which are castrated?

English has distinct words for the male and female of many common animal species. For example, we have bull / cow, rooster / hen, ram / ewe, stallion / mare, boar / sow, man / woman. However, we ...
34
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do I give my pets “food” but my livestock “feed”?

When I feed my cat or my dog, the package tends to say "Dog Food" or "Cat Food." In contrast, I give my chickens "chicken feed" or "poultry feed." Likewise, a cow's silage is her "feed." Why does ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Looking for a word for a rodent [closed]

I am looking for a name of a rodent. It is two words of three letters each. The rodent is somehow related to the rat and guinea pig and "it is not white coated despite its name". The question comes ...
6
votes
1answer
626 views

Etymology of “duck”

Etymonline and wiktionary don't seem to agree on that one. Many European languages have cognates (Ente, anatra, eend), but duck seems isolated. Where does English take duck from? Edit As Henry ...
3
votes
2answers
320 views

Animalisms… What other terms derive from parts of an animal, like 'wing it', or 'hoof it'? [closed]

The question " Past tense of "to wing"? " got me thinking about terms we use in the English language that derive from parts of an animal, especially verbs or verb phrases, like 'wing it' or ...