Ravens, the most intelligent of all birds, live deep in our consciousness and language. Today we explore all the words and expressions with “raven” as their root. GAME OF THRONES FANS: take note!
Jim Crow has become such a familiar term — as in Jim Crow Laws or the Jim Crow South or the Jim Crow Era — that it’s easy to miss the animal — in this case…the crow inside the phrase.
How did the crow come to be associated with a repressive system of segregationist laws that hindered and harmed black men and women for decades after the Civil War?
What is the story behind this animalogy? Listen to this episode to find out!
ANIMALOGY: Change Your Language. Change the World.
I worked on this talk for years, and I’m thrilled it’s finally available for public viewing. The live TEDx event was cancelled because of Covid, but it was moved to a virtual event, which is where I presented my talk, called: ANIMALOGY: Change Your Language. Change the World.
I hope you enjoy it.
In it, I introduce the concept of animalogies, the animal-related words and phrases we use on a daily basis, and explore what they say about our perception of and treatment of animals. And I argue that they say A LOT.
So, whether you’re a lover of language or a lover of animals — or history, literature, anthropology, sociology, or all of the above — my hope is that this talk will inspire a conversation about our treatment of and regard for non-human animals.
For the animals, thank you for watching my TEDx talk, and please share it!
The thousands of animal-related words and expressions we have in our English language illustrate how deeply connected we are to animals, and that’s never more apparent than in the names of plants — both the common names and the botanical names.
Join me on this fun journey through gardens, fields, and forests as we discover plants, trees, flowers, and fungi named after animals.
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Animal-Related Words for Diseases and Cures
No, this episode is not about denying the life-saving efficacy of vaccinations; it’s about all the animal-related words we have for diseases and cures, including the word VACCINE, which comes from the Latin word for a cow or bull. It’s just another example of how how deeply rooted animals are in our consciousness, in our history, and in our lives — for better and for worse.
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We can’t talk about Zero Waste living without talking about the big picture: the amount of food that gets wasted at the front end of the food chain: during production, harvest, and processing. And we can’t talk about Zero Waste living unless we face the fact that the highest food losses are associated with livestock production. Listen to Part One to find out how there is nothing Zero Waste about garbage. (The original meaning of the word garbage had to do with “the bowels and body parts of a butchered animal considered inedible by humans — the offal.”) Enjoy!
In Part Two, we’ll talk about the food WASTE that occurs toward the back end of the food chain — at the retail and consumer levels — and what we can do about it.
We have many words built from the English word for “bear,” the Latin word for “bear,” and the Greek word for “bear,” and we have many expressions and phrases built from the same ursine animal. Of course there are also expressions using the verb “to bear,” as in “to carry,” such as in “bearing fruit, bearing a child, or bearing a burden or a grudge. Let’s explore the origins of all of these.
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If I asked you to name some cities and countries named after animals, how many could you come up with? You might think of obvious ones, such as Buffalo NY; Beaver, UY; White Horse, NJ; or Eagle River in Ontario; or Weston-Under-Lizard near Birmingham in the UK. But what about cities and countries around the world whose animal origins are much less apparent? Join me today as we explore our connection with animals through geographical locations inspired by animals.
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“Piggyback” has nothing to do with pigs! In fact, there are many seemingly animal-related words and phrases in the English language that have nothing to do with animals at all! In today’s episode, I offer up the backstory to words such as piggyback, monkey wrench, round robin, and spelling bee.
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By now you would have listened to the Animalogy episodes about the words muscle, coccyx, and tragus — all parts of our body. All words from animals. Today, we have an entire episode on a number of other terms for parts of our anatomy that have animals hiding within. These and many more reflect how deeply rooted animals are in our consciousness, in our history, in our lives — and deep in our animal bones.
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