How to Say Rabbit

Jun 11, 2012 by

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The Word for Rabbit in Different Languages 

Or…A rabbit by any other name is still a rabbit.

A note on organization

Languages are listed alphabetically according to language family. A language family is a group of languages which derive from a common mother language. For instance, many of the languages of Europe, West Asia, and the Subcontinent (such as German, Russian, Latin, Sanskrit,Persian, Armenian, Greek, etc.) belong to the Indo-European family of languages. Due to the many similarities in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary between these languages, linguists believe that there was at one time a single language, called Proto-Indo-European, from which these ultimately derived.

Languages can be further subdivided into branches. For instance, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian are much more similar to each other than Russian, Polish, Czech, Serbian, and Ukranian. The first set of languages belongs to what is called the Germanic branch, while the second set belongs to the Slavic branch. Yet they are all Indo-European languages. (Compare the words for rabbit in the Germanic and Slavic languages given below.)

Some language families, such as Indo-European, have been exhaustively studied over the past century and are well-established by linguists, while others, such as Amerind and Altaic, are far more controversial. This web site is not attempting to make definitive statements on the classification of languages! More controversial language families have been adopted here merely as a convenience. Remember, it’s all for fun!

A note on submissions

If you speak a particular variety of a language (e.g., Swiss German and Bavarian are varieties of German), please be sure to include this information in your e-mail. This is a great help when sorting out multiple submissions for one language. Please send your words for rabbit For languages written in a non-Roman script, feel free to include a gif or jpg of the word written in the native script.

Afro-Asiatic (languages spoken in Northern Africa and the Middle East)
Cushitic
Somali bakayle
Arabic arneb
araanib
arnab
arnab bari (wild rabbit)
arnob (bunny – baby rabbit)
Hebrew arnevet (hare)
  arnavon/arnavoni (little sweet bunny)
  shafan
Maltese fenek (rabbit)
  fenek abjad (white rabbit)
  fenek iswed (black rabbit)
  zermug (baby rabbit
Altaic (languages spoken in Turkey, Central Asia, Siberia and East Asia)
      East Asian
Japanese usagi
Korean toki
San Toki (‘Mountain Rabbit’) is a popular children’s song:
‘Mountain Rabbit, Rabbit/ where are you going?/As you hop hop hop,/ where are you going?
      Turkic
Kazakh kenek
Turkish oda tava_ani
Amerind (includes most of the indigenous languages of North and South America)
Algonquian
 
Ojibwe waabooz
Iroquoian
 
 Cherokee tsi s du Penutian
 Chinook quetshadee
Siouan
 
 Dakota mastinca
Aztecan
 
 Nahuatl ometochtli
Austroasiatic
 Vietnamese tho
Austronesian  (languages spoken in Taiwan, Oceania, Madagascar and Hawai’i)
Malayo-Polynesian
Bahasa Malaysia arnab
Hawaiian lapaki
Indonesian kelinci
Maori raapeti
Malagasy bitro
Malay kelintji arnab
Tagalog kuneho
Dravidian  (languages spoken mostly in southern India and Sri Lanka)
Tamil muyal
Eskimo-Aleut  (languages spoken in northern Alaska, Canada and Greenland)
Eskimo ukalerk
Eskimo (Inupiaq) ukulaitchiaq olark
Kadai  (languages spoken in Southeast Asia)
Thai gra-dty
Indo-European (languages historically spoken in Europe, West Asia and the Subcontinent)
Albanian
Albanian lepur (hare)
lepurush (bunny)
Armenian
Armenian (Western) nabastak
Armenian (Classical) napastak
Baltic
Latvian trusis zakis (hare)
Lithuanian kralikas zuikutis (small bunny rabbit)
Celtic
Irish coinân giorria (hare)
Cornish conyn conynas (plural)
Manx coneeyn conning (bunny)
Gaelic coineanach coineagan coineanach an taighe
(house rabbit)
Welsh cwningen
Germanic
Afrikaans haas (hare)
konyn
Bavarian kinihÔs
Danish kanin
Dutch haas (hare)
konijn (bunny)
konijntje (bunny)
nijntje (used as an affectionate term.)
Also a famous cartoon rabbit in Holland.
English (Archaic) coney
Flanders keun
Flemish konijn keun
Frisian (Wester Lauwer) knyn hazze (hare)
German Kaninchen (rabbit)
Hase (hare)
Icelandic kanina
Norwegian (BokmÔl) kanin
Swedish kanin
Swiss German Hassli (small hare)
Chungel
Swiss German (Basel region) ChÉngel
Yiddish krolik
Hellenic
Greek (Modern) kouneli
Greek (Classical) lagos
Indic
Bengali chorgosh
Gujarati saslu
Hindi khargosh
Classical Sanskrit shashaka
Vedic Sanskrit shasha
Sinhalese haava haapetiya (baby rabbit)
Urdu kargosh
Iranian
Kurdish karwesh (literally, ‘donkey ears’)
Persian (Farsi) khargoosh
(literally, ‘donkey ears’)
Italic
Aragonese coniello
Catalan conill
French lapin lapereau (young rabbit)
lapin de clapier (tame rabbit)
Italian coniglio
coniglietto (bunny)
Latin cuniculus
Was also used for soldiers who dug tunnels
cuniculosus (full of rabbits)
lepus (hare)
Portuguese* coelho
coelha (female rabbit)
coelhinho (little rabbit)
lebre (female hare)
lebrÉo (male hare)
*Note: several of our documents are available in Portuguese.
Romanian iepure iepura (bunny)
iepurime (warren of rabbits)
iepuroaica (female rabbit)
iepuroi (male rabbit)
Spanish conejo conejito (little rabbit)
Slavic
Bulgarian zayek (rabbit, hare)
Czech kralik kralicek (little rabbit)
also used for ‘young king’
Croatian kunic zets
Macedonian zajak zajache zajko
Montenegrian zec
Polish królik
króliczek (bunny)
Russian krolik zayets zaychek (endearing form for bunny)
Serbian kunit
Slovak králik
Slovene kunec zajec (hare)
*Note: the word zajec or diminuitive zajcek is more generally used for both species. It can also be a person’s first name.
Ukranian kril’ kri-lyk (domesticated)
kri-lyky (domesticated, plural)
zaichyk (endearment)
za-yats’
Niger-Kordofanian (languages spoken in West and Central Africa)
Bantu
Lozi shakame
Swahili sungura
Swati umgwaja
Xhosa umvundia
Zulu unogwaja
Nilo-Saharan (languages spoken in the Sahara and Central Africa)
Lwo apwoyo
Sino-Tibetan (languages spoken in Mainland China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia)
Burmic
Burmese youn
Sinitic
Cantonese pak toi (white rabbit)
yah toi (wild rabbit)
toi bao bao (baby rabbit)
Chinese (Mandarin) tu zi (rabbit)
baitu (white rabbit)
xiao baitu (little white rabbit)
Taiwanese to-ah
Tibeto-Karen
Tibetan reepong
Uralic (languages spoken in northern Scandanavia, Finland, Estonia, Hungary and Siberia)

Finno-Ugric
Estonian kodu-janes (tame hare)
Finnish jÉnis kani
Hungarian házinyúl
Language Isolates (languages that have no clear connections with any other language. They are found throughout the world.)

Basque untxi  erbi (hare)
Artificial Languages
Esperanto kuniklo

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