Vocabulary 24 - Words Related to Animals
Animals are an integral part of our lives and we are always near them from the time we are born until the time we die. Soon after we stop taking our mother’s milk we start drinking cow’s milk. We may have pets, such as dogs and cats. In our schools we are taught about animals and we are taught using animals as mnemonics – C is for cat and E is for elephant,
When our lives are so closely linked to animals can the English language be far away? No! English contains a mix of original English words and others taken from foreign languages, cultures and usage. The English language has spread out and borrowed words from many spheres. New words have come from science, civics, mathematics, economics, medicine and sociology, indeed from almost any human activity. Words are also drawn from living things other than humans.
English has many words that are connected with or related to animals; a term used to encompass other living forms such as mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. Let's look at a few examples:
'Thoroughbred' is usually used to describe horses that are of pure blood and this word is also used to describe a well-educated or well-bred person.
'Carnivorous' is used for animals that eat flesh (as opposed to 'herbivorous' which means animals which eat only plants). A dog is a carnivorous animal, whereas a cow is a herbivorous animal.
'Feral' is associated with wild animals. The word is usually used to describe something brutal or ferocious, including some people!
Many words related in some way to animals have entered the English language and the quiz that follows will help to expand your vocabulary by exposing you to them.