Rabbits & Bunnies
Posted: 01 June 2007 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2007-06-01

Why do we call rabbits bunnies?

Several months ago I started hearing in the media the term ‘like putting lipstick on a pig’. I understand the meaning but wondered about the history.

The new term I have heard in the media is one that expresses disgust. ‘Throw up in my mouth’. Or, ‘Does that make you have throw up in your mouth’?(I watch MSNBC in the morning-maybe I should change the channel...). I find this terminology offensive.

I am a new member-just ran across this website this morning. I have no idea if what I have posted here is appropriate. Nothing like jumping in with both feet…

I enjoy words and the history/meaning behind them.

[Edited subject line—dw]

[ Edited: 01 June 2007 06:02 AM by Dave Wilton ]
Posted: 01 June 2007 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  1630
Joined  2007-03-21
jane - 01 June 2007 03:31 AM

Why do we call rabbits bunnies?

Bun is a dialectical reference to the tail of a rabbit. AHD4

Take our word for it has a little more

Curiously, bunny is closer to the original word and for centuries rabbit was applied only to the young of the species.

and Michael Quinion:

As far as anyone can tell, the root of “bunny” was probably the Gaelic word “bun,” which means “stump” or “root” and which, in Scots and northern English dialects, means “the tail of a hare.”

Edit: Welcome Jane.  Two suggestions.  Put the word or phrase in question in the subject line of the note and, if possible, only ask one question per note.

Posted: 02 June 2007 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  79
Joined  2007-04-14

A baby rabbit is properly called a kitten.

Posted: 02 June 2007 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2007-06-01

Thank you both for your input. Here in Missouri we have a lot of rabbits, bunnies and their kittens…

Webster’s Dictionary-
Main Entry:  1kit·ten
Pronunciation:  ‘ki-t&n
Function:  noun
Etymology:  Middle English kitoun, from Anglo-French *kiton, chiton, diminutive of cat, chat cat, from Late Latin cattus
: a young cat; also : an immature or young individual of various other small mammals

A thesaurus I checked also listed calf, duckling and fawn as words for kitten.

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