Tuesday, June 26, 2007

cats and dogs

The English words feline and canine (meaning 'like a cat' and 'like a dog' respectively) come from the Latin words for cat (feles) and dog (canis). The following fifteen English words all follow the same pattern- what do they mean, and on what Latin words are they based?

  • aquiline
  • asinine
  • bovine
  • elephantine
  • feminine
  • leonine
  • lupine
  • ovine
  • pavonine
  • piscine
  • porcine
  • serpentine
  • ursine
  • vespine
  • vulpine

Related post: onomatopoiea


Anonymous said...

haha- i was going to ask why the sudden interest in cats and dogs! but wow elephantine?! correct me if im wrong but ursine is definitely bear-related. some of the others look pretty self explanatory. kool.

Mike Salter said...

JM, I shall be reporting you to the Anti-Discrimination board for your lumping of "feminine" in with all those animal names. For shame! ;-)

I'd never made that connection between aquila and "aquiline" before. How asinine of me.

Anonymous said...

pavo = peacock, right?
i <3 year eight

Anonymous said...

aquiline - like an eagle
asinine - like a donkey
bovine - like a cow
elephantine - like an elephant
feminine - like a woman
leonine - like a lion
lupine - like a wolf
ovine - like a sheep
pavonine - like a peacock
piscine - like a fish
porcine - like a pig
serpentine - like a serpent
ursine - like a bear
vespine - like a wasp
vulpine - like a fox

Hmm... one of those just doesn't seem right... almost like the "women are the root of all evil" equation, Mr. M...