Imitation, counterfeit, or what?

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 12 18:58:23 UTC 2012

Personal view: If it's an image, it's a forgery or a fake--the image,
not that animal, that is. Otherwise, I would just describe the animal as
fictitious or fabricated. Perhaps falsified, but, having dealt with
philosophy of science, this may be a loaded term. Why would it have to
be a noun? Just add an adjective to "animal" or the supposed name of the

With Chinese fakes, where one animal is being sold as another, more
expensive animal, we've already had this discussion here. I don't recall
a definitive resolution coming out of that. Fake and faux X seem to be
particularly apt for describing something that is being sold as X.

Jakelope and its ilk (bunnyip) seem to be the only case where
"fabrication" would be in order.

The "scientific" approach would be to prefix "pseudo-"--e.g., something
that poses as a shrimp but is not a shrimp would be a pseudo-shrimp. But
this point may be lost on the less predisposed audience.


On 1/12/2012 11:58 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> I want to refer to an animal being exhibited that is a hoax -- not
> genuine, but unreal, constructed in some way.
> "Counterfeit" has the useful association with "made", as does
> "fabricated".  Imitation, fake, mock, concocted seem possible
> too.  What words are most commonly used to describe such a construction?
> Joel

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