I am a German native speaker. I'm planning a new blog and trying to figure out the best name. I would like to name the blog "three little cancers" in reference to our surname which is "Krebs" (meaning cancer in English) but I am not sure about the connotation for english native speaker. Because, if I hear the word cancer, the first thing that comes to my mind is the disease.

How is it for native speaker? Do you think about the animal or the disease if you hear/read the word "cancer"?

  • 4
    When I read the term cancer it reminds me of the breast cancer which killed my friend nearly a year ago.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 11, 2019 at 8:38
  • 5
    I'd think that most native speakers would assume you were referring to the disease(s). Nov 11, 2019 at 8:50
  • The standard word for the sea creature is crab, like your Krebs. Cancer is used only for the disease (or the Latin name for the creature). Nov 11, 2019 at 9:02
  • 1
    The only time we use the word cancer to mean crab is when we talk about the astrological sign. And if you're talking about the zodiac, you need to capitalize the word Cancer. Nov 11, 2019 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


The German word krebs can refer to the animals crabs or the disease cancer. In English the word crab refers to just the animal. The word cancer refers in normal usage mainly to the disease, but sometimes to the astrological sign. The word cancer cannot be used to refer to the animal in every day usage.

For these reasons, The Three Little Crabs would be a suitable title, but the version with the disease would clearly not.

  • 2
    Okay, thank you. So i had the misunderstanding that because "cancer"also refers to the astrological sign it would automatically refer the animal as well. With that knowledge I will certainly name the blog "Three little crabs" ;) Thanks
    – pyriand3r
    Nov 11, 2019 at 10:17
  • Any feedback on the downvote? Can't improve the post without it! Nov 11, 2019 at 20:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.