Since at least Old English, the word duck has been used to describe the aquatic bird, derived from the verb to duck: Proto-Germanic *dūkaną. However, in most other Germanic languages, a word with a different etymology is used for the bird.

The Wiktionary page on Proto-Germanic *anudz lists the following descendants:

English: ende, ennet, annet

The page for ennet says it's now chiefly dialectal. Which dialect(s) would still use any of these words today?

1 Answer 1


According to the following source, ennet:

(now chiefly dialectal) Duck; drake.

(now chiefly dialectal, Scotland) The common eider.


also annet:

n. The eider duck, Somateria mollissima (Abd. 1975). Variant of Ennet, q.v. Cf. also stock annet s.v. Stock, n.1, 17. (4). ne.Sc. 1862 Fraser's Mag. (Feb.) 154:

  • A pair of huge “annets,'” that look very white and stately on the tawny water . . . a sharp report is heard. . . . The grey eider splashes away seaward, but the drake lies still and motionless.

(Dictionary of the Scots Language)

  • I'm not sure that this is up-to-date information because it is marked obsolete in the DSL.
    – Laurel
    Dec 5, 2017 at 22:59
  • "Scotland" is not a dialect.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 5, 2017 at 23:16
  • Scots is technically a different language, but it is often intelligible to English speakers. The dictionary.com entry seems to only be used for a specific species of duck, not all ducks. It seems that no dialect uses any of these words as a generic duck?
    – CJ Dennis
    Dec 6, 2017 at 2:22
  • @CJDennis It's easy for non-specialists or non-locals to be fuzzy on the differences between Scottish English and (Lowland) Scots, not to mention Highland Scots which being Gaelic isn’t even related to the other two sets.
    – tchrist
    Dec 6, 2017 at 4:11
  • @tchrist Only having lived in the Highlands for 19 years I have never come across the term 'Highland Scots', I have certainly never heard gaelic referred to as Scots (though it might at times be distinguished from other gaelic tongues as 'Scots gaelic') anywhere except this board, where is something of a recurring, if occasional, theme. We do have something which gets described as 'Highland English' however which is distinctive in its own right. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_English
    – Spagirl
    Dec 6, 2017 at 11:11

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