This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Word To Use Today: zorilla.

A zorilla is a cousin of the weasel.

Unfortunately it's the sort of cousin even a weasel might try to avoid, because a zorilla is the smelliest animal in the world.

Its pong is so powerful that one has been observed holding nine lions at bay while it scavenged their kill.

In fact, even people with quite small noses can sniff its whiff over a thousand metres away.

Zorillas hunt at night, catching small rodents and reptiles (yum!) and even if a zorilla happens to meet a nasally-challenged hyena or something it can still avoid being eaten by either climbing a tree, or playing dead.

Zorillas live in the grasslands of Africa, almost always alone (its habit of squirting foul-smelling liquid out of its bottom at visitors might explain this).

Makes me feel quite smug to be human, really.

Word To Use Today: zorilla. This word is from the Spanish zorro, which means fox: though of course a zorilla isn't a fox at all, but a weaselly thing.

I admit zorilla is a word unlikely to be of great use in most people's day-to-day lives; but then perhaps we should be grateful for small mercies.

It's good to have a rhyme for gorilla, anyway.


  1. How completely wonderful. This is a word/creature I had never even heard of before. David Attenborough has ignored Zorillas completely. DO you think he's a reader of this blog? Someone alert him to this amazing animal Truly the world is full of wonders and skunks will have to look to their laurels!

  2. This is NOT the blog on which to leave out a full stop. Sorry! One after 'animal' of course.

  3. I imagine filming a close-up of a zorilla would be the ultimate act of dedication for a wildlife-filmer!

    But, hey, the great David Attenborough has a knighthood, so he must be VERY BRAVE INDEED.