of or resembling a goose
A gentleman known as Usher the Clown took to the water in "a machine like a washing tub, drawn by four geese". The industrious showman piloted his
chariot from Southwark Bridge to Vauxhall.
– The Londonist (Sep 9, 2014)
If you’re familiar with the old-fashioned term silly goose, then you’ll understand this term, which applies equally to geese and silliness. By the way, the synonym
goosish has been around longer than you’d think: it’s been recorded since the 1300s. This is a word that deserves a comeback, given all the anserine behavior in the world.
curved down like an eagle's beak
Conan Doyle even appropriated some of Bell’s physical attributes for Holmes, giving him the professor’s “sharp and piercing” gray eyes and thin,
nose.Washington Post (Jan 24, 2017)
Around since the mid-1600s, this term has two related meanings. It means all things eagle-y — though we apologize to the eagle for using such an offhand, unmajestic word of my own for this imposing bird. Aquiline can also apply to the distinctive hook or curve of an eagle’s beak. This term is often used for human noses that have a prominent curve, but remember what your mother said about commenting on someone else’s appearance, OK?
devoid of intelligence
But he said it was “
to say that players making only a few million a year are underpaid,” as fans and reporters often say when comparing players’ salaries.New York Times (Nov 8, 2018)
This word for foolish behavior is one of the most transparent animal words, since it derives from asses: in other words, donkeys, who have never been applauded for their sophisticated behavior.
any of various wild or domestic cattle
A patrol officer pulled alongside the brown-and-white
Friday and the animal rammed the car, leaving a large dent.Washington Times (Sep 1, 2017)
This adjective referring to cows is an insult when applied to people.
a dog or related mammal
She was sandwiched between two
, Lady Bird, who is large and baleful looking, and Gizmo, a twitchy Chihuahua-terrier mix who belongs to her son, Sam.New York Times (Oct 27, 2018)
Sometimes this word is used for doglike behavior in non-dogs, such as a steadfast person’s canine loyalty. A fun and obscure term is canine letter, also known as the dog’s letter, which is R, because dogs tend to go arrrrrrr or grrrrrrr when they’re in a huff.
being or pertaining to or resembling a goat or goats
relating to or resembling deer
Moose, as well as other members of the
family, live mostly on the shoots of trees, but they die mostly by the shoots of hunters.Various
relating to or resembling a crow
These very long sticks were so slender and dry that the bird was able to lift and to fly with them; therefore, to his
mind, they were suitable for his purpose.Hudson, W. H. (William Henry)
of great mass; huge and bulky
Their hard shells allow the tortoises to crawl deep into thorny thickets, and they navigate loose lava rocks with their
feet.National Geographic (Dec 8, 2015)
of or relating to cats
is giving a whole new meaning to the term “catwalk” after an impromptu runway debut at a fashion show in Turkey.Fox News (Oct 30, 2018)
We don’t want cat lovers to be excluded, so here’s the cat equivalent. Feline can refer specifically to cats or to the broader cat family, which includes panthers, tigers, and lions, oh my. You can use feline to describe cat-like behavior, appearance, websites, paw prints, or anything else that’s catty.
relating to or suggestive of a goat, especially in odor
Said very tame, very trained
carries the food and drink, and guides you gently but firmly back to the barn.Golf Digest (Nov 14, 2017)
of or characteristic of or resembling a lion
of or relating to or characteristic of wolves
There’s The New Mutants, a horror-tinged spin on the Marvel franchise, in which she plays Wolfsbane, a young girl with
powers.The Guardian (Oct 17, 2018)
Dogs are closely related to wolves. Genetically, they’re very similar, though the domesticated dog and wild wolf couldn’t be more different in terms of which you’d rather have as a babysitter. But wolves aren’t canine: they’re lupine.
of or relating to or transmitted by a member of the family Muridae (rats and mice)
of or relating to the songbirds
It was something after the order of the purple martin's melodious sputter, only the tones were richer and fuller and the music better defined, as became a genuine
.Keyser, Leander S. (Leander Sylvester)
of or pertaining to sheep
Only three sheep are among resident farm animals that roam the park’s pastures and barnyard only a few minutes away from downtown Bellevue, so they’ll be joined by 20
friends visiting for spring shearing.Seattle Times (Apr 24, 2013)
of or relating to fish
Around since the 1600s, piscine has been used in all sorts of fish-related contexts. In the 1816 book The Origin of Pagan Idolatry by George Stanley Faber, the term describes a deity of the sea: “Derceto was the piscine ship-goddess of the Syrians.” In an 1854 edition of reference book Orr’s Circles of the Sciences, the term applies to a skeletal pattern, specifically, “The piscine modification of the vertebrate skeleton.” Our favorite piscine thing is sushi. Mmm, sushi.
relating to pigs or swine
Speculation about a change grew this month after a government-issued postage stamp for the Year of the Pig in 2019 showed a
family complete with three piglets.The Guardian (Aug 27, 2018)
This word is a few letters removed from porcupine, but that’s just a coincidence. If you notice the similarity of porcine and pork, it’ll help you remember the meaning of this term, which describes pigs, who are also called hogs and swine, which are fightin’ words if you apply them to people. Come to think of it, so is pig.
resembling a snake in form
The women of the Moxi skate team whiz through the streets of Long Beach on their roller skates, first gliding in
patterns, then performing back flips, midair splits and handstands off skateboard ramps.Los Angeles Times (Jul 26, 2018)
This term, loosely speaking, means snake-y, in all senses. A long, winding staircase could be called serpentine. A more diabolical sense is defined dramatically by the OED: “Having the evil qualities of the serpent; pertaining to the Serpent as the tempter of mankind; diabolical, Satanic; devilishly wily or cunning.” Then there’s serpentine verse: a line of poetry beginning and ending with the same word, which sort of resembles a snake eating its own tail.
of or relating to or resembling a bull
The 38-year-old Padilla, the star attraction at the southwestern town of Olivenza's annual
festival, said he was returning to the ring because of a need "to win, to triumph, to be a better man."New York Times (Mar 4, 2012)
of or relating to or similar to bears
This word describes one of the most impressive animals of all: the bear.
resembling or characteristic of a fox
crept up a fire escape onto a rooftop near Finsbury Park on Sunday before settling on a blanket to enjoy the evening sun.BBC (Jun 12, 2018)