Svengelska bloggen

Svengelska bloggen

Om bloggen/About the Blog

I aim to use this blog to keep up my English and maybe give others some insights in Swedish language. It's not a diary - well not quite...


Däggdjur/MammalsPosted by Gunvor 2013-04-15 17:41:41

Hälgångare is ’plantigrade’. Literally it is ‘heel walker’ Häl and heel both come from Germanic *hanhilon, a diminutive of *hanhaz, ‘heel’ from Indoeuropean *kenk- ‘heel, bend of the knee’.

A related word is English hock ‘joint in the hind leg of a horse,’ earlier hockshin from Old English hohsinu ‘Achilles' tendon’, literally ‘heel sinew’, from Old English hoh ‘heel’ which goes back to Germanic *hanhaz.

Plantigrade comes from French plantigrade ‘walking on the sole of the foot’ from Latin planta ‘sole of the foot’ and gradus ‘step’. Didn’t know that before.

The plantigrade who made this track is of course a badger, grävling in Swedish (more here). Just before the new snow four days ago we also saw some marks from his snout in the lawn, so he must have woken up from his hibernation sleep recently.

As far as I know there are only these two plantigrade species hereabouts. Haven’t seen a hedgehog here for many years, and, fortunately, no bears either.)

The new snow has rained away now, but there is still a lot of the old snow left in shadowed areas.


Däggdjur/MammalsPosted by Gunvor 2013-03-28 23:34:12

Ekorre is ’squirrel’, Sciurus vulgaris. It’s a common Germanic word of unknown origin, c.f. Norwegian ikorn, German Eichhörnchen, Old English acweorna. As ek in Swedish and Eiche in German mean ‘oak’ the word has easily been associated with the tree, but that is a folk etymology.

The English word comes via Old French from Vulgar Latin *scuriolus, diminutive of *scurius, variant of Latin sciurus, from Greek skiouros, 'squirrel' literally 'shadow-tailed', from skia 'shadow' and oura 'tail'.

This little fellow has been visiting us for some days now. Here he sits under the bird feeder. Just like the deer he is gray in winter, but will soon hopefully put on his brown summer jacket.

This is my first blog entry since last summer. Will try to keep it up...


Däggdjur/MammalsPosted by Gunvor 2012-05-14 12:43:56

Räv is ‘fox’ Räv is a Nordic word, Icelandic refr, Old Swedish ræver, Danish ræv, Norvegian rev. The origin could be Indoeuropean *erebh, approx. ‘brown’, ‘mottled’, and related to järv ‘wolverine’, ripa ‘grouse’, järpe ‘hazel-grouse’ and rapphöna ‘partridge’.

Fox, Ducth vos and German Fuchs stem from Germanic *fuh-, and the Indoeuropean root *puk- ‘tail’ (cf Sanskrit puccha ‘tail’). No surprise - the long bushy tail is very characteristic.

This one trotted by a couple of weeks ago.

More about fox, see fogsvans .


Däggdjur/MammalsPosted by Gunvor 2012-02-24 13:22:14

Isn’t she lovely! The deer have had a so much better winter this year than last! ( We haven't had to feed them, only felled a couple of aspen.

This was taken on February 20th when she and her mate walked around our garden. Now most of that snow is gone now, washed away by a whole day's rain. Spring is here.

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