View Full Version : What's with the english and their strange animal names?

Scabrous Birdseed
26-08-2008, 13:02:20
Explain this one:


Lazarus and the Gimp
26-08-2008, 13:10:09

Lazarus and the Gimp
26-08-2008, 13:11:18
I think the explanation of the cockchafer must be "Well it would, wouldn't it?"

26-08-2008, 13:12:01
That is a great name. The first one I mean.

26-08-2008, 13:28:55
In the Middle Ages, pest control was rare, and people had no effective means to protect their harvest.

In 1320 cockchafers were brought to court in Avignon and sentenced to withdraw within three days onto a specially designated area, otherwise they would be outlawed.
Subsequently since they failed to comply, they were collected and killed.

the famous Avignon Cockchafing Neighborhood!

how did they "kill" them?
A 19th century recipe from France for cockchafer soup reads: "roast 1 lb of cockchafers without wings and legs in sizzling butter, then cook them in a chicken soup, add some veal liver and serve with chives on a toast".

- how do you earn your living?
- oh, I pluck cockchafers...

Dyl Ulenspiegel
26-08-2008, 13:35:06
So much better than Maikäfer or Ollonborre!

Scabrous Birdseed
26-08-2008, 13:38:31
Ollonborre ("glans driller") is actually even more unpleasant, come to think of it.

Immortal Wombat
26-08-2008, 17:32:37
any idea how it got that name in Swedish?

"Chafer" (O.E. ceafor) has been used in English to mean (some types of) "beetle" for ages, probably from the same root as the German käfer - gnawer. Possibly (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=chafer).

Nobody seems to know where the cock sprung from. This Victorian discussion (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rZkRAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA446&lpg=PA446&dq=Cockchafer+etymology&source=web&ots=bXcNjiO6Zn&sig=TFw0hC2yHFKjnt7aByYwvH0QoWk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result#PPA446,M1) is the most detailed I can find, but I don't believe it. And if the Swedish/Danish name is not just a straight translation of the English, then it suggests that the cock really is a cock, and it's been part of the word for a long time.

26-08-2008, 17:34:57
"The large cockchafer, Melolontha pectoralis, which is very rare and occurs only in south-western Germany. "

Well, it would, wouldn't it?

26-08-2008, 18:14:45
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp

I see lots of those at poly.

Scabrous Birdseed
26-08-2008, 20:34:41
Originally posted by Immortal Wombat
any idea how it got that name in Swedish?

"Ollon" also means acorn. I'm assuming it chafes/gnaws/drills into them.

27-08-2008, 07:37:53
sooo... pigs feed on "ollons", eh?