This is what I mean when I say most poor people — at least those who know what it is to be hungry — will share their last can of beans with you if you’re starving, but so many middle-class and rich people won’t give you anything from their full cupboards, always finding excuses. Also, I’ve talked to delivery people and they say the people in my low-income housing project tip better than the rich people up the hill from us. This is a thing.
He’s back! Welcome back, calming cat. You are always welcome here.
Everyone should know of calming cat.
this is the thing that you have to tag because you’ll have to wait 8264589672 years to find it again
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.
German language is absolutely adorable (and occasionally predictable).
This is my youngest colt, Dante.
He is half Houdini, half goat.
I took him to his very first halter show, left him tied to the trailer with his mother, and turned my back. When I looked back, he had untied himself, his mother, and was halfway to the next trailer over - presumably to either make friends, untie the other horses, or attempt both.
So I stuck him in the trailer, figuring he couldn’t get in much trouble in there.
Now, I don’t know how familiar you are with stock trailers/cattle haulers/what have you, but many have this hay loft up front, and a partitioning gate about halfway back that can be locked open or shut.
He unlocked the center partition (the mechanism for this is on the *outside* of the trailer), waltzed up front, and climbed into the hay loft.
This is how I found him.
(He was not hurt, if you were curious. He just kinda hopped back down.)
He is now 6 years old, and his antics over the years have included: opening gates, untying every knot that I know how to tie, undoing various buckles (on halters, headstalls, saddles, harnesses, *my belt*), pantsing his farrier, attempting to steal his vet’s wallet, opening doors, climbing stairs (up *and* down), climbing into the back seat of the truck, opening the trailer door, locking his brother in said trailer, treeing a raccoon, outsmarting the electric fences (fence posts are insulated, thus do not shock him + if the wire touches the ground, it shuts off = remove the fence posts, ground the wire, escape).
Today, he clipped my truck keys off my belt and disappeared with them.
This horse is too smart. Send help.
omfg this has me crying i’m laughing so hard.
i think cinco spawned from this horse
Some days is hard to be patient with the babies.
I wonder if there are Quidditch “street rules” matches where everyone’s taking liquid luck and all spells are fair game
People have died and gone missing due to Quidditch as it is what are you doing
THEY TURN UP IN A MONTH OR TWO IT’S FINE CALM DOWN
The Tamora Pierce Wikia
THIS IS AMAZING FTW FOREVER!!!!
I feel like the noise of my joints clicking is some kind of soundtrack to my life