Svengelska bloggen

Svengelska bloggen

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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 2011-11-23 20:15:23

Älg, Alces alces, is ‘elk’. The word comes from Germanic *alhi-, from the Indoeuropean stem *olki-. from the root *el- 'red, brown'. Latin alces is a loan from Germanic. Whether the English word elk is original Old English or a Norse or perhaps German loanword is unclear.

The root *el- has given name to deer of many kinds in many languages: From Lithuanian elnias ‘elk’ comes Danish elsdyr and (via German) French élan 'elk' and also Dutch eland, a large South African antelope.

In North American English an elk is called moose, a loan from an Algonquian language. The name elk is given to another large deer, Cervus canadensis, also called wapiti. (Evidently no real elks roam the Eastern areas where North Europeans first arrived, and the English-speaking settlers had never seen any such anyway).

This elk was demolishing an apple-tree when I was lucky enough to get a picture this summer. As far as I know he is still alive and well - we have got some meat from a team hunting some kilometers away from here. Hunters hereabouts are worried, some calves are very weak. Perhaps because of the hard winter their mothers did not have enough milk to feed them.