I found this Flickr photo — titled “Ecureuil à Central Park” — and I realized I knew the Spanish word for squirrel, too: la ardilla. (I should know it, since I live in Mexico, but still…). And that got me thinking: What’s the word for squirrel in other languages? I found this great old-school Angel Fire page…even though it’s totally circa 1994 in terms of web design, it’s a great resource. Some of my faves from the list:
- Ku’uk is Yucatec for squirrel. (If you know any Mayan words, you know almost all of them sound like “ku’uk.)
- Ekorre is Swedish, and it sorta means “oak kitten.”
- Esquilo is Portuguese, and it sorta means “shadow tail.”
- kAtHbIraI is Bengalese, and it sorta means “cat in a tree.”
- Klingon is qon’Het’wa. (Hmmm.)
- The Basque have two names for squirrel — urtxintxa and katagorri — and it means…starting drum roll….my favorite: “walnut otter.”… cymbals crashing.
I also wonder, and this would take enormous amounts of research, if other language use “squirrel” as a verb, as in to “squirrel away something.”
Hmmm. Anyone know?