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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Animals in Spanish 
29th-May-2013 11:57 am
Keep Calm
Foxes are sly. Hornets are mad. They are in English, at least, but in Spanish, animals can have different characteristics:

besugo: red bream. Also an idiot.

lince: lynx. Also someone especially shrewd or sharp-witted.

zorro: male fox. Also a sly or crafty person.

zorra: female fox. Also a whore.

avispado, avispada: wasp-like. Sharp or bright, as in person who has wised up.

pulpo en un garaje: octopus in a garage. To be lost or disoriented about something.

borrico, borrica: donkey. Also a really stupid person, especially a dumb student.

canguro: kangaroo. Also a babysitter.

— Sue Burke
29th-May-2013 10:12 am (UTC)
lince: lynx. Also someone especially shrewd or sharp-witted.

This presumably derives from their proverbially good eyesight. In Italian, too: the Lincean Academy (Accademia dei Lincei) was one of the earliest European scientific societies.
30th-May-2013 07:39 am (UTC)
You'll be happy to know that the Real Academia Española agrees with you.
29th-May-2013 11:17 am (UTC)
Not knowing Spanish, I never knew that zorro meant fox! The masked vigilante's name suddenly has new depth!

I very much like pulpo en un garaje---that's perfect.
30th-May-2013 07:41 am (UTC)
Also, "Quixote" in Don Quixote means "thigh armor." Sir Thigh-Armor.
30th-May-2013 11:16 am (UTC)
Wow! I didn't know that either! Now I'm thinking: Sir Shoulder Blades (okay, it's not armor, but it came into my head...) or Sir Rusty Glave (glave rhymes with "blade" and is at least a weapon, whereas the blade in "shoulder blade" is not). Or, let's see: Sir Gauntlet?

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