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Main Title: Curs, crabs, and cranky cows: Ethological and linguistic aspects of animal-based insults
Author(s): Schmauks, Dagmar
Type: Article
Language Code: en
Abstract: Our attitude towards animals is highly inconsistent. Linguistic evidence of this is the many animal names that we use for characterizing other humans. Although terms like “beastly” draw a clear dividing line between mankind and the animal kingdom, we also see numerous similarities across species and coin expressions such as “eagle eyes” or “ostrich policy.” A treasure trove for such comparisons can be found in animal-based insults with which we mock the appearance or behavior of others. Based on English and German examples, this contribution intends to give some ethological reasons for the fact that we choose specific animals for insulting humans. As this topic has not yet been widely explored, the result can only be a general overview, combining ethological and linguistic aspects. There are many expressions preferably used in “joshing,” but the never-ending creation of new expressions is proof of human creativity.
Issue Date: 2014
Date Available: 30-Nov-2017
DDC Class: 400 Sprache
410 Linguistik
Subject(s): insults
cultural stereotypes of animals
linguistic creativity
Journal Title: Semiotica
Publisher: De Gruyter
Publisher Place: Berlin [u.a.]
Volume: 2014
Issue: 198
Publisher DOI: 10.1515/sem-2013-0103
Page Start: 93
Page End: 120
EISSN: 0037-1998
ISSN: 1613-3692
Notes: Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.
Appears in Collections:Inst. Sprache und Kommunikation » Publications

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