This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Monday, 27 April 2015

Spot the Frippet: snout.

Today, as I'm sure you'll all be aware, is World Tapir Day, which I mention because tapirs are the owners of the most enchanting snouts in the world.



See? (That Brazilian tapir is showing the flehmen response, which is a way of detecting the scent of other tapirs.)

If, sadly, you can't find a tapir near you then commoner animals have snouts: the sixteen or so species of pigs, for instance:

File:Cute Piglet.jpg
Photo: Petr Kratochvil

And, if you can't find one of the billion pigs on the planet, there are over 40,000 species of Curculionidae, or snout beetles (also called true weevils). 



To make things even easier, snout is British slang for tobacco or cigarettes, and in quite a lot of the English-speaking world it's slang for an informer, too - not as in a sharer of useless information like The Word Den, but the sort who tells the authorities about criminal activity.

But still, the best snouts, as I've already said, belong to tapirs:




Paradise Wildlife Park, 25 April 2015. Tapirus terrestris and some very happy Homo sapiens-type person.


Spot the Frippet: snout. This word is Germanic in origin: the Old Norse is snyta and the Middle Dutch is snÅ«te.

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