There was a guy way back in the 1600s named William Shakespeare who was a famous poet, actor and playwright. You may have heard of him. Ol’ Dutch never developed much of an appetite for his writings or plays as I prefer a happier ending.
One of the most famous plays that he wrote was Romeo and Juliet about a young couple with last names of Hatfields and McCoys or something similar. At least the two ended the same as they were from feuding families and the youngsters fell in love which was not allowed.
Poor young Juliet makes a speech about a rose in reference to handsome Romeo saying “a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” She had to be saying that he would be just as loved even with a different name, as I am certain that those people did not bathe back then and the sweet smell of his rose had died long ago.
Ol’ Dutch used to raise roses back in my touchy feely days and even though I had a lot of varieties they were just roses to me.
The same holds true for animals. Most of us upon seeing an equestrian type animal in the field say “look at that horse” but in reality it may be a horse, mare, foal, pony, gelding, colts, stud, mare, filly, nag or plug. In a group they can be a rag, harass, string, team, herd or hay burners.
No wonder we are confused half the time when trying to describe something because there are so many names both common and not so common to describe the same exact thing.
Of course none of the above really matters unless you are of the cowboy or girl persuasion, I suppose.
Other animals have similar difference in names depending on the age of the critter and the sex of the same. You got goats that are billies, does, wethers, nannies, kids and hircine, that last which must describe how they smell. Now Ol’ Dutch has eaten his fair share of goat cheese and I find it to be tasty but most of the goats I have been around are mostly good for climbing on top of cars.
Sheep also have the same peculiarities and there are rams, ewes, lambs, wether and tup which I have never heard ‘til Wikipedia schooled me. I kinda like sheep and the good Book talks a lot about them but mostly about how they get lost and need a shepherd. I guess we all do at times.
Man’s best friend can be a dog, puppy, pup or bitch. The latter from derived from middle english “bicche” and has fallen into bad use as a bad connotation. It also is heard quite frequently during divorce proceedings but I don’t think they are talking about Fido.
Pigs are not to be left out and you have boar, barrow, gilt, shoat, sow, piglet and queen. I have to say having researched this topic Ol’ Dutch will have to rethink things when some unfortunate fellow calls his wife his “queen.”
Normally when that occurs she beams and he smiles and I am not sure either of them are on the same page.
But anyhow, I guess you have to be in the business of taking care of some of these livestock to really know what you have and when as timing is of the essence when describing critters.
I guess the same holds true for people as depending on when and where associations are made names are given.
Men generally start out as a stud or prince at least to some poor unsuspecting woman but often end up being called names that cannot be published here. The same goes for women. And, alas, many a prince have called his princess the middle English name for female dog after a few years have passed by.
Leaving that where it lies is probably the best for now and Ol’ Dutch thinks he will just carry on with horse, pig, goat and sheep when I see one. Sure is easier to say that than try and explain the other names to a 4-year-old grandaughter.
Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com or on Twitter at TroutRepublic.