Latin nominatives and animal names (cf. Bossie)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Apr 29 03:43:56 UTC 2006

>Larry, are you claiming that "Felix" is a name that is or was generally used
>to call or otherwise address random cats as Boss(ie) is used to call or
>address random cows?

No, you're right about that.  "Felix" is more analogous to "Rover" or
"Fido" than to "Bossie", not really for random cats.  Except maybe
random cartoon cats, pre-Garfield and -Heathcliff.

>Is it once again the case that I need to get out more?
>Sigh! Well, what can you do? ;-)

>On 4/28/06, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>Subject:      Re: Latin nominatives and animal names (cf. Bossie)
>>At 1:22 PM -0200 4/28/06, Charles Doyle wrote:
>>>We do name our lions Leo, not Leon.  (At the moment, that's
>>>the only other stereo- or prototypical animal name I can
>>>think of that resembles the Latin common noun designating
>>>the species.)
>>Well, there's Felix the Cat, which I assume is at least influenced by
>>fe:lis (since cats aren't notorious for being happy), although I
>>suppose that was more of a genus than a species name before it became
>>adapted into "felis catus"/"felis domesticus" for kitty-cats.
>>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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