Questions about terms for animals and their accoutrements

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3
votes
2answers
55 views

Would the “Purple Fawn” in this context refer to a shop? [closed]

Wodger, of the "Purple Fawn," and Mr. Jaggers, the cobbler, who also sold old second-hand ordinary bicycles, were stretching a string of union-jacks and royal ensigns (which had originally ...
20
votes
6answers
3k views

What's an adjective for “pertaining to donkeys”?

Horse is to Equine as Donkey is to ...?
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Is there a word to describe feathers, scales, fur, hair, etc. on an animal

Is there a word to describe or reference feathers, scales, fur, hair, exoskeleton (maybe?), etc. on a creature?
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Can I Switch from “it” to “he” or “she” when referring to an animal in a story? [closed]

This one is a question I can't seem to find an answer for. I do have a friend, a professional editor, who told me she saw no problem with me switching from "it" to "he" or "she" when referring to an ...
3
votes
3answers
377 views

Pluralising 'Red Kite'

Is the following grammatically correct? An area frequented by red kite and skylarks It would appear to be incorrect as red kite should be pluralised to red kites, however this sounds wrong to my ...
3
votes
3answers
159 views

Referring to something belonging to goblin: is it “its” thing or “his” thing? [closed]

I'm writing tutorial for fantasy game with said goblin acting as an example. Now, I need to relate to the thing belonging to that goblin, let's say it's an apple. Is it his apple or its apple? Shall I ...
9
votes
2answers
543 views

What is the origin of “rat”?

A simple little word for a common little fella. Yet, the origin is unknown (or not?). Both OED and Etymonline are bold enough to say "of uncertain origin"; but, of course, they try to explain the ...
0
votes
2answers
255 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
votes
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
704 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
votes
3answers
419 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
5k 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
282 views

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

In previous questions we learnt how to use words like 'asinine', 'bovine', 'canine' and 'feline', so, after some deep thoughts, a question arose in my mind: why does English, in some cases, not use ...
-1
votes
2answers
93 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
702 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 ...
50
votes
8answers
13k 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
239 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
51k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
36
votes
3answers
2k 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
2k 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
786 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
369 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 ...