[Lexicog] What is considered "meat"?

Wayne Leman wayne_leman at SIL.ORG
Sun May 23 02:37:21 UTC 2004

Recently my wife and I were discussing what entities we considered English
"meat" to come from (within our worldview). I think we agreed that most
prototypical English "meat" comes from cattle, wild game (e.g. deer, moose),
and hogs (pork). For us, what comes from poultry (e.g. chicken, turkey,
ducks and other birds) might be meat, but we're not sure, and whatever we
eat from poultry definitely is not nearly as much "meat" as is meat from
bovines. For both of us, what we eat from fish is not meat. Your own mileage
on "meat," of course, may vary, as a speaker of English.

I then did some lexical research on Cheyenne categories, including meat. I
asked the Cheyenne speaker to try not to use the worldview of English
speakers that she knew. The results for Cheyenne ho'evohkotse, 'meat,'
pretty much paralleled my own categorization of meat within the cultural
worldview in which I grew up (subsistence and commercial fishing family,
subsistence wild game hunting, and increasing use of meats purchased from
grocery stores).

What words for 'meat' show up in languages you have worked with and what
counts as meat within the worldviews of a majority of their speakers?

Wayne Leman
Cheyenne website: http://www.geocities.com/cheyenne_language

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