1. Seri
    April 25, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    Lovely article, loved seeing all the interesting names for animals and hopefully will remember a few to add to my very limited vocabulary for animals in German (I really only know cat, dog and bear)

    One of my favourite ones is Rotfeuerfisch for Lion fish as it seems like they couldn’t think of a name so just called it what it looked like. XD

    • Andrew
      April 26, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

      Red-Fire fish. Well, I know that lion fish are redish and poisonish, so maybe they got it from that. Sometimes it seems like the real name of things is just what happens when someone doesn’t remember the word and just describes it vaguely.

  2. Jen
    March 28, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    Great post! German animal names always make me snicker. I especially love Flusspferd for hippo. Funny that the word Schlange actually sounds like what it is, too.

    • Andrew
      March 28, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

      Thanks. The hippo is a funny name in English, it is even more so in German. I hadn’t thought about the relation between Schlange and the sound of a snake, but you are right.

  3. Dina
    March 26, 2011 @ 2:23 am

    That’s awesome. So if you are good with German but don’t really know about animal names, you can just name them based on the character, who knows it’s correct!

    • Andrew
      March 26, 2011 @ 11:44 am

      Yeah. I tend to do the Germanic thing of describing something as if it is the real word for it. I am usually about 50-50 being right.

  4. Frau Dietz
    March 22, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

    Brilliant post! I love how straightforward the Germans are with their language.

    • Andrew
      March 26, 2011 @ 11:30 am

      Thanks. Some things are so completely logical and others make no sense.

  5. Laurel
    March 22, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    I love how literal these are and yes it does seem very German and I also learned a few new animal names in German too, thanks!

    • Andrew
      March 22, 2011 @ 8:16 am

      Thanks for the comment. Congrats on the wedding by the way.

  6. Jeremy B
    March 22, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    Thanks for the language lessons on animals. Definitely interesting how they come up with those. Some make sense and some just make you scratch your head.

    • Andrew
      March 22, 2011 @ 8:15 am

      You’re welcome for the lesson. Maybe I’ll do an addendum at some point of the more boring names. 😉

  7. jade
    March 22, 2011 @ 7:58 am

    BOb and I try to visit with local animals in every city we visit- I love the red panda, he looks pretty cute to me!

    • Andrew
      March 22, 2011 @ 8:14 am

      Thanks. That picture was in New York City of all places. I don’t seem to take many animal pictures. At least in the last years with my digital camera. I do have a desire to see Kiwi birds in NZ, and there will be pictures of that when I manage it.

  8. Global Basecamps Allie
    March 22, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    Hahah this is good to know, soo many weird and interesting animals! I cant believe people really do eat that stuff !! CRAZYY

    • Andrew
      March 22, 2011 @ 8:09 am

      But that is the cool part, really none of these animals are weird. They just have weird translations of the names. 🙂 I do agree on the eating though, that IS crazy. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Sophie
    March 19, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    Fun post. Not surprisingly, we have the same type names in Norwegian – neshorn, stinkdyr, beltedyr, etc. I think in the Germanic languages (that aren’t English), we tend to create names that makes sense, translate rather than keeping a Latin name. Same for a number of things, incl. medical terms.

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  11. Michael Figueiredo
    March 19, 2011 @ 1:24 am

    Very entertaining post! I didn’t know any of these names before but it was fun trying to sound the words out 🙂

    • Andrew
      March 19, 2011 @ 11:29 am

      If you want to hear them spoken, you can try http://dict.leo.org. Search for the German word and there are little speaker symbols that show a layer with a player.

  12. Jeff Titelius
    March 19, 2011 @ 12:19 am

    What an absolutely fun read my friend and a lesson in German to boot!! Way to go.

    • Andrew
      March 19, 2011 @ 11:28 am

      Thanks. Although not sure how useful it is of a lesson, but definitely if you ever get accosted and asked to mention animals in German you are set.

  13. Yvonne
    March 18, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    haha. awesome! Yes, we Germans are funny, right? 🙂 And hey, I always say “Schnecke” or “Schnecksche” (little snail) to my girls…:)
    I also like “Wühlmaus” – “rummage mouse” which reminds me of the “Wühltisch” the rummage table…:)

    • Yvonne
      March 18, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

      Oh, btw one of my “Schnecksche” just told me why we call the guinea pig “Meerschweinchen”: it’s because the sailors used to take them on the voyage for having fresh meat as they repoduce very fast… 🙂 and maybe it’s PIG because they taste like pork? 🙂

      • Sabrina
        March 19, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

        It’s true! Guinea pig tastes like pork. At least that what everybody on our group said when they tried it in Ecuador. I didn’t because I was too grossed out by the presentation: big stick through the whole thing and BBQ-ed. Could still see little face with teeth and tiny little paws 🙁 Yuck!!

        • Andrew
          March 22, 2011 @ 8:08 am

          Hey, Sabrina, yeah I don’t think I could deal with eating guinea pig either. Ali wrote a post about it with pictures here. Eating Cuy : the night my dinner waived at me Seems like the paws and teeth thing is normal.

          • Ali
            March 23, 2011 @ 3:45 am

            I thought the guinea pig tasted like chicken, not pork. Either way, it was entirely too much effort for such little meat.

            Wait, what was the topic again?

    • Andrew
      March 19, 2011 @ 11:27 am

      Wühlmaus is a good one. Another one of the little rodents called a Vole in English. And that is a really cool story about the Meerschweinschen. Maybe they would have pigs on land and just use the word pig for “animal we eat”, so a guineapig becomes an animal we eat at sea.

  14. Sabrina
    March 18, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

    Haha! I never even stopped to think that Schildkroete = shielded toad.

    Regarding Schnecke… There was a time when boys used to call (hot) girls a “Schnecke” as in a boy approaches a girl as says “Hey Schnecke” 🙂 Don’t ask me why though!

    • Andrew
      March 19, 2011 @ 11:19 am

      Yup, the Schildkröte was the first one I noticed when learning German years ago. I have heard some stories about the “Schnecke” for girls being dirty. Dunno.