"She’s a bit of a lefty. I like her very much.” - Penelope Wilton (on Isobel Crawley)
La Pointe de la Heve at Low Tide - Claude Monet
live fast die young bad girls procrastinate and somehow still do it well
Funny and bizarre German animal namesThe German language is famous for some really long nouns (Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän comes to mind). This is because German nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives are like lego bricks; you can stick them together in almost any way to create new words that encapsulate new concepts. This gives the language a special ability to name just about anything. You could call it the German language’s lego brick-like quality, or Legosteineigenschaft (see what I just did there?).
But why does German rely on such an elaborate process to name things as simple as squirrels? When broken down into their separate components, the names of familiar animals mutate into bizarre new creatures.
The Uncanny X-Tiere
Comics are full of heroes with names like super, wonder, iron, ultra, bat or cat followed by -man, -woman, -girl or -boy. A lot of German animal names work the same way, where Tier – the word for animal – is preceded by a word describing that animal’s “super power”.
Stinktier – stink animal (skunk)
Faultier – lazy animal (sloth)
Gürteltier – belt animal (armadillo)
Murmeltier – mumbling animal (groundhog)
Schnabeltier – beak animal (platypus)
Maultier – mouth animal (mule)
Trampeltier – trampling animal (bactrian camel). The verb trampeln means to trample or tread upon, whereas the noun Trampel is a clumsy oaf.
Sometimes suffixes get more specific than -tier, but still tend to describe the wrong animal:
Schildkröte – shield toad (tortoise)
Waschbär – wash bear (raccoon)
Nacktschnecke – naked snail (slug)
Fledermaus – flutter mouse (bat)
Seehund – sea dog (seal)
Tintenfisch – ink fish (squid)
Truthahn – threatening chicken (turkey). Trut is onomatopoeic for the trut-trut-trut cluck of a turkey, but it’s also been hypothesized that the name comes from the Middle German droten which means “to threaten”.
No, I’m Pretty Sure That’s A Pig
Swine seem to be a popular yardstick in German animal taxonomy.
Schweinswal – pig whale (porpoise)
Seeschwein – sea pig (dugong). Not to be confused with the Seekuh, or sea cow, known in English as a manatee.
Stachelschwein – spike pig (porcupine). The English word is actually just as literal; porcupine sounds a lot like “pork spine”.
Wasserschwein – water pig (capybara)
Meerschweinchen – ocean piglet (guinea pig). The ending -chen denotes something small. Add it to the end of Schwein and you get a little pig, or piglet. Since the stems Meer and Wasser are often interchangeable, it’s most likely that Meerschweinchen actually means little capybara.
Just Plain Weird
I’d like to end this list by giving one animal a category all to itself: the humble squirrel.
- little oak horn: Eiche (oak tree) + Horn (horn) + -chen (little)
- oak croissant: Eiche (oak tree) + Hörnchen (croissant)
- Eichkätzchen (regional name) and Eichkatzerl (Austria) – oak kitten
Calling a squirrel a “tree kitten” is reasonably literal, but where does “little oak horn” come from? It seems that the answer comes down to a misplaced h: Eichhörnchen comes from the Old and Middle German eichorn, which has nothing to do with oak trees or horns. In this case, the eich comes from the ancient Indo-Germanic word aig, which means agitated movement, combined with the now obsolete suffix -orn. Somewhere in history a superfluous h was added (along with the diminutive -chen ending) but the original meaning remained. Today, Hörnchen is a category of rodents that includes all squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, prairie dogs and flying squirrels.
Keep an eye on this spot for an upcoming post where we’ll delve deeper into the animal kingdom: branching out to birds, insects, reptiles, fishes and any other mammals we find crawling around.
LOOK. IT’S EVERY SINGLE STEREOTYPE ABOUT MEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVISTS PUT INTO ONE HANDY-DANDY DEMOGRAPHICS SURVEY SO IT CAN BE STATISTICALLY VALIDATED!! [x]
This is fucking frightening.
My process for all the paisley armchair pictures. I sometimes forgot to save iterations regularly, so they’re a bit uneven (especially the blue one).
Sorted in the order they were made.
I honestly don’t understand why anyone, regardless of sex, gender, age or occasion, would wish to wear anything other than full brogue Oxfords. Maybe Derby brogues for a very casual outing.
You can tell a lot about someoneby the type of music they listen to. Hit suffle on your iPod/phone/iTunes/media player and write down the first 20 songs. Then pass this on to 10 other people. One rule : No skipping.
I was tagged by mechanicalplants. Doing this on my phone, so there’s only 364 songs on that. I only skipped the non-music ones - presented without comment.
I tag dressthesavage, eksyneet, helshades, heynorth, ittsarkanyokvannak, katasagoskata, olrencefchwel, ravingcelt009, schroedingerscas, and tugoslavija, because while being genuinely interested in their music, I know they are going to give me awesome new bands as well as old shared favourites.
I just discovered these guys today and I think I might be a little obsessed
Y.A.S. - Gamil
do you ever cook something in the microwave but it’s still really cold in the middle and you just keep eating it instead of heating it longer because life is pointless and entropy is unavoidable and the universe is filled with callous and casual destruction
Omg, that is the cutest Nerdanel ever.
How can you have lived for so long and still not get it? This self-obsession is a waste of living. It could be spent on surviving things, appreciating nature, nurturing kindness and friendship…and dancing!
You’ve been pretty lucky in love though, if I may say so.