Silly names that are actually in use for animals

Some animals have earned some silly names that are in common use in English. I thought maybe as a community we could pool our knowledge and see what ones we know or what your favorite ones are.

My two favorites are:

  • Business Goose ===> Penguin (actually from Chinese 企鹅, but has been adopted by many English speakers)
  • Murder Turkey ===> Cassowary

Of course, there is also:

  • Danger Noodle ===> Snake (venomous)

There are lots of them if you translate from other languages literally, but let’s try to keep these for names that are used in English or have been adopted into English.

What others do you know or like?

FULL LIST FOLLOWS (for now I’ll add them, but if we can change this to a wiki then you can add them too):

  • Business Goose ===> Penguin
  • Murder Turkey ===> Cassowary
  • Danger Noodle ===> Snake (venomous)
  • Nope Rope ===> Snake
  • Trash Panda ===> Raccoon
  • Foot-on-the-Ass-Duck ===> Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata)
  • Cobra Chicken ===> Goose
  • Bin Chicken ===> Australian White Ibis
  • Swamp Donkey ===> North American Moose
  • Flying Rat ===> Pigeon
  • Snot Otter ===> Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)
  • Beakfast/Bacon ===> Pig
  • Tree Rat ===> Squirrel (Gray?)
  • Swamp rat ===> Muskrat
  • Speed Goat ===> Pronghorn Antelope
  • Flap-flap/Sea Pancake ===> Stingray
  • Onion Spider ===> Gonyleptid Harvestmen
  • Long Horse ===> Giraffe
  • Little Brown Job/Little Brown Bird ===> any small brown bird you can’t identify
  • Little Brown Mushroom ===> any small brown mushroom you can’t identify
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Trash Panda = Raccoon :raccoon:

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Yep, forgot that one. I like the German “washing bear” as well, but that hasn’t made its way into common English usage yet, if it ever will.

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Can I suggest making this a wiki, so that peeps can edit the first post and add them to the list… or perhaps as they add them, you edit the original post and add it to the list?

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Sure, how do I turn it into a wiki?

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The common name in PT for the lake-duck (Oxyura vittata) used to be “marreca-pé-na-bunda” which translates to something like “foot-on-the-ass-duck”, basically because the tail resembles its foot. Nowadays the official common name is marreca-rabo-de-espinho ("thorn-tail-duck), but the old folk still call it by its funny name.

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Is it an option in the ellipsis menu? @bouteloua help? :)

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I’ve heard “Nope Rope” = non-venomous snakes
There’s also “Cobra Chicken” for geese

I’m not sure how common usage is for these outside the internet, though. :)

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Internet is fine as long as it’s relatively common.

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We used to refer to pigs as “Breakfast”, but I’m pretty sure it was confined to a small group. Would be interesting to see if it is in use by anyone else?

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Swamp donkey for moose (alces alces ssp americanus) in Canada, at least.

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Excellent. My grad class called itself Alces alces (there was an unofficial naming code based on generations of students), but we should have had an informal name of Swamp Donkeys.

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I’ve heard them referred to as “bacon” in many places.

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I’ve heard “flying rat” used for Canada Geese, and for Pigeons.

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The chicken’s supportive, the pig is committed lol

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Feathered rat for gulls, but I don’t know if that is just my mother’s term! Otherwise known as Larus supermarketparkininglotii

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Learned that my locals call Hellbenders (which is funny enough) : Snot Otters. here, on one of my favorite observations:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/20352051

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Snot Otter is fantastic!

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Me, too. Also “tree rat” for grey squirrels.

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