The word butterfly / vernacular names

Ernst.Neering at STAFF.TPE.WAU.NL Ernst.Neering at STAFF.TPE.WAU.NL
Wed Apr 29 10:10:36 EDT 1998

Thank you, John, for linking the reply in the newsgroup to your posting on 
'skoenlapper' to my reply in LEPS-L and returning both to LEPS-L. I was not 
aware of the other reply as I do not know the newsgroup.

However this reply:
>> I don't think that 'skoenlapper' is ever used in this sense in Ditch.
puts me and others in the Netherlands in a different place (we have polders 
and dams you know). I assume Dutch was meant.

Your comments:
>So it seems that the name is known in Dutch. It's adoption for an African
>species, and later all butterflies, by the African colonists parallels
>what happened in the case of some other animals, too. Thus we have
>`eland', the European elk, applied in Afrikaans to a uniquely African
>antelope; `wolf' (the northern wolf) applied to hyaenas in general, etc.
urge me to react.
I do not know when 'eland', the European 'elk', became extinct in the 
Netherlands but it was very long ago, long before Dutch colonists (the boers) 
went to South Africa. The species occurs in the northern parts of Europe (and 
Asia?) and is the largest of the deer family. Your 'eland' is the largest of 
the antilopes, so there you have a possible explanation. Your African 'eland' 
is in dutch also known as 'paard antilope', which would be 'horse(like) 
antilope' in english.
The dutch 'eland' is used also for the same (or similar) species in North 
America, called 'moose' there, while in America the word 'elk' is used for 
the 'wapiti', a true deer (Cervus).
[North American listers, please correct me if wrong!]
You see, confusion everywhere.
Is your word 'wolf' not used exclusively for 'aardwolf', which as far as I 
know is a solitairy, nocturnal member of the hyaena family?
There are more names derived from dutch: 'hartebeest', 'wildebeest', 
'springbok', 'aardvark'. This last one is from
	aarde = soil or ground
	varken = is pig or hog
Proper translation would be something like 'groundhog'. I wonder whether the 
makers of the cartoon about 'aardvark' ever knew.

To all LEPS-L subscribers:
I do not know the words for 'butterfly' and 'moth' in Tagalog but in Bahasa 
Indonesia (and Bahasa Melayu) it is 'kupu-kupu' (pronounced 
coo-pooh--coo-pooh) and 'ngengat' (it is difficult to describe the 
pronounciation, the 'ng' is a nasal tone like in 'thiNG', the 'e' as in 'the' 
followed by the 'ng' again, going over in the 'a' pronounced as in 'path' 
followed by a short 't')
In Indonesia they also know the word 'kupu-kupu malam', for 'night 
butterflies' (malam meaning night)....


Ernst Neering

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