What Does Squirrel Stand For?
So, what does squirrel stand for, and where does its name come from? The scientific name, Sciurus, is derived from two Greek words. Perhaps, it came from the fact that the squirrel stands in the shadow of its tail. It was first documented by zoologists in the Carolinas. The Swedish naturalist Carl Linneaeus also contributed to its scientific name. Regardless of the origin of its name, the animal has an interesting history.
Latin word sciurus
The Latin word for squirrel is sciurus, which is a combination of two Greek words. The word, “sciurus,” means “to stand in the shadow of its tail.” The name is so common, that it is even used in children’s books. The red squirrel was scurrying around a tree in the fall, preparing the fruit for winter. The word was first attested in 1327.
The word “squirel” was first recorded in the early 1300s. It is a variant of the Greek word “skiouros,” which means’shadow-tailed’. The squirrel’s bushy tail may have been one of the reasons why it earned the name. It is believed that squirrels’ ancestors lived in trees, then migrated to the ground to harvest acorns. However, squirrels eventually returned to trees.
The German word “eichhornchen” means “little ear”. A correspondent in Germany suggests that this is due to the shape of the squirrel’s ears. This hypothesis is completely speculative, however. A protoform of the word, Eichhornchen, sounded like aikurna or aik-, which does not have a logical meaning of “horn.” In other words, this is just folk etymology at its best.
Germanic word sciurus
The Germanic word for squirrel is eichhorn, a neuter form that is derived from Middle High German eichorn and Old High French eihhorn, from the Latin word viverra. Its base is unknown and cannot be firmly determined, but it is similar to Old Icelandic ikorne (the word squirrel comes from the same root).
Squirrels are often called “eichhornchens,” but the name is not derived from the oak tree. In fact, the German word for squirrel is derived from the Indo-Germanic word pig, which means “agitated movement.” The diminutive form eichhornchen is the simplest version of the word. It is pronounced just like the English word eichel-hornchen, but with a different accent.
In French, the word for squirrel was formerly spelled jacquet. It is a diminutive of the proper name Jacques and corresponds to the English James. The term “jacquet” was given to the squirrel because of its habit of raising its tail. The word potron is related to posterior. This obsolete French expression has been replaced with the phrase des potron-minet, which means “pussycat.”
Swedish naturalist Carl Linneaeus
Sweden’s famous naturalist, Carl Linneaeus, was born and raised in southern Sweden. He was groomed for churchmanship, but his interest in botany grew. He studied botany at the university of Lund and later transferred to Uppsala. Despite his lack of churchmanship training, Linnaeus excelled at botany classes and was soon hired by the Uppsala Botanical Gardens.
During the 1740s, Linnaeus’ interest in plants and animals led him to conduct numerous field trips. He studied plants and animals in sub-Artic Lapland, and brought back a large collection of specimens to Sweden. His works, published in Swedish, are considered some of the best-written in the history of science. His travel journals are filled with fascinating observations.
The Swedish naturalist Carl Linneaeus was born on May 23, 1707. His parents were Lutheran pastors, and his fascination with plant names was evident from an early age. He disobeyed his parents by not pursuing a religious career and decided to study medicine instead. He later transferred to Uppsala’s medical school, where the medical facilities were much better than in his native Lund.
Despite the fact that the Swedish nationalist was a royal, he was not particularly wealthy. He suffered from a series of strokes in the early 1770s. His son, Carl Linnaeus the Younger, inherited the professorship at Uppsala. But the elder Linnaeus never achieved much fame as a botanist. His mother and siblings sold his library and natural history collections. This is when the Linnean Society of London was formed.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.