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Questions tagged [animal]

Questions about terms for animals and their accoutrements

5
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1answer
96 views

Term for maladaptive animal behavior that will lead to their demise?

Moths to a flame. Is there a term for such a behavior?
0
votes
1answer
635 views

Muzzle or not? What would you call this thing? [closed]

What would you call this in English? What's this white thing on cat's or rabbit's muzzle? Or is this a muzzle itself? Would it be right to say, "This is a head with a white muzzle?"
8
votes
1answer
722 views

What you call an animal whose main food is fruits?

Yesterday, I watched a show on Animal Planet in which they were showing a type of bat called flying bat which lives only on fruits. I referred a dictionary but I am not happy with the word herbivore. ...
10
votes
2answers
375 views

Schools and Shoals

School, as a group of fish, entered Middle English: late Middle English: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schōle, of West Germanic origin; related to Old English scolu ‘troop’. (NOAD) Shoal, ...
20
votes
9answers
7k views

PETA wants workers to “bring home the bagels”

On December 4, the animal rights organization, PETA, asked anglophone speakers (in the US) to quit using anti-animal idioms cold turkey. In a Tweet they proselytized: Words matter, and as our ...
16
votes
2answers
934 views

What is the word to describe a bird organizing its feathers?

Which verb most accurately and commonly describes a bird's daily behavior to make its feathers clean and organized. "organize" its feathers "brush" its feathers "clean" its feathers?
0
votes
1answer
41 views

He, she, it with animals [closed]

When I want to write the story about little puppy, I have found on the street, should I use it or other gender?
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Specialized term for pig excrement? [closed]

Horse manure, cow dung, bear scat, chicken droppings... Many animals have special words for their poo. I can't remember one for pigs though, even though they're a pretty significant species for us. ...
0
votes
4answers
381 views

Verb for when cats meow other than meow itself

If a dog barks "woof" (or some other variation) a frog croaks "ribbit" is there a verb for when cats "meow" other than "meow" itself? I am specifically looking for a word that is usually only ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

What would you call the distinction between e.g. 'cow'/'beef', 'pig'/'pork'? [closed]

I'm looking for a term to denote the distinction between the name of an animal when it's alive, and the name of the same animal when it serves as food. If such a term exists, I imagine it belongs to ...
0
votes
2answers
430 views

If an animal is not a predator (e.g. a herbivore), but has nothing that eats it, what is it called? [duplicate]

Most animals I have heard of, such as killer whales, great white sharks, and other apex predators are, well, predators. But what would you call an apex non-predator?
0
votes
1answer
60 views

General verb for animal making sound

English language has different verbs for different species of animals making sound, many are onomatopoeias. But is there a general verb that can be applied to an unnamed animal? e.g., can I say "I ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Single word for the animal action of bending down [closed]

I'm looking for a single word to describe the bending-down motion that animals such as camels or elephants do to allow riders/passengers to more easily mount them.
2
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2answers
4k views

What would you call this fenced training area for horses? [closed]

What would you call this fenced area used for training horses?
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12answers
12k views

A single word for non-domesticated animals that live among humans?

Is there a specific, single-word adjective for animals that live among human beings but are not pets, livestock, or work animals? Examples would be insect pests living in a house, like cockroaches or ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there an idiom/proverb about stray dogs?

I somewhere read a line about the relationship of two people. I'm looking for the exact words. It was something about one being like a stray dog, that you hate him, but you feed him because you think ...
29
votes
3answers
4k views

The balled (headed) eagle?

Now I observe you staring upward and puzzling your wits to guess what great bird it is you see wheeling aloft over our heads. That, Sir, is the type, symbol, and adopted emblem of our nation, the BALD ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

How to describe an animal lover who is against pet ownership

Is there a particular term or a set of words used to describe someone who loves animals but is against humans owning them as pets? I am looking for a neutral or positive term. I was having serious ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Is there a term for an animal that died of a disease?

In Russian animals that died of a disease can be translated as fallen animals e.g. fallen sheep. Is there a similar term in English?
3
votes
2answers
311 views

Meaning of the word “cajoling” when applied to dairy cattle?

I am a German scientist and I read the term cajoling in a scientific paper. It is meant to be a sign for oestrus in dairy cattle, but I am not able to find a suitable translation or explanation. So ...
0
votes
2answers
309 views

Pluralization of species names

Can you please guide me should we pluralize "painted stork" and "black-tailed godwits" in this sentence? Is there any rule regarding the names of species? Like which sentence makes sence and why? ...
8
votes
1answer
226 views

When did animal sounds get codified?

Every kindergartner knows that a sheep says baa, a cow says moo, a cat says meow and a goat says maa. But this is just in English. In other languages, they say other things. When did animal sounds ...
27
votes
5answers
7k views

Word that means non-human animals? [closed]

Humans are animals. The term "animals" is sometimes used to mean all animals (including humans) and is sometimes used to mean every animal except for humans. Is there a word that means non-human ...
2
votes
1answer
288 views

Word for flying, stinging/biting insects

Today an insect was flying around me and my family but I wasn't sure what type of insect it was. I could tell from the noise that the wings were making while it was flying that it was some type of bee ...
5
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4answers
3k views

Is there a gender neutral term for a single animal of the Bovine species?

A single female is a cow A single male is a bull A castrated male is a steer An unbred female is a heifer A juvenile is a calf All of those terms can be pluralized according to normal conventions....
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Origin of “moke,” used in the mildly derogatory term “you lil' moke”

Does anyone know the origins of this term? I have only managed to track one reference to it. I heard it from my Granny who was Romani. The Online Etymology Dictionary has this short entry: moke (n.)...
0
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2answers
1k views

Term for “representative” animal sound?

Is there a term for the sound word associated with a certain type of animal, that is considered the most frequent or usual representation? e.g. Cat - meow; Duck - quack; Owl - whoo; Frog - ribbit; etc....
6
votes
2answers
491 views

Which animals can and can't be prefixed with “she-”?

I've heard of "she-wolf" (partially from mythology, partially from pop music), and I'm wondering which animals "she-" can and can't be used on. Wiktionary mentions a variety of animals (she-ass, she-...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

Word for giving animal characteristics (esp. physical ones) to humans

I am writing a paper about Art Spiegelman's Maus, specifically the metaphor that Spiegelman creates by depicting his obviously quite human characters with the heads of various animals, or a couple ...
3
votes
2answers
255 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 celebrated ...
25
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6answers
6k views

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

Horse is to Equine as Donkey is to ...?
5
votes
2answers
3k 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?
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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
485 views

Referring to something belonging to a 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
3k 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
791 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, and ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
2k 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
2answers
25k 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"?
3
votes
2answers
34k 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
4k views

“I like cat” type of sentences [duplicate]

The sentences seems a bit wrong but when you replace cat with something else it sounds right: I like A (Do you like A or B?). I like apples (Do you like apples or oranges?). but... I like cat. (Do ...
1
vote
4answers
9k views

I like dog or I like dogs which is correct and why?

Why do we say 'I like dogs'? Why can't we say 'I like dog' if we are referring to a particular dog? Most people use 'I like dogs'. Which is correct and why?
0
votes
1answer
796 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
159 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
2k 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 1 ...
52
votes
8answers
60k 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
509 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
207k 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
4k 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 ...