Tag Archives: Animals

The Dog Says Waf Waf

Arf. Meow. Cock-a-doodle-doo!

We all know that is exactly what the dog says, what the cat says and what the rooster crows.* It’s obvious.

It’s basic onomatopoeia (A word that is spelled the same way it sounds.  For instance, boom or bing or fwoosh or, say, meow.), yeah? The animal makes a sound and that sound is as clear as a bell.

Listen to a dog bark (there’s onomatopoeia for you) and you’ll hear the arf arf arf. It’s just basic. Something that is the same no matter where you go in the world.

Except that it’s not.

Different cultures and different languages, it turns out, have different words for the same sounds animals make.

Where we hear dogs go “arf arf,” the Dutch hear them say, “waf waf.” Yes, really.

Being a wordnerd, I’m always looking for stuff like this. I always love this kind of stuff and, since I’m the one behind the keyboard, you get to hear about it as well.**

wsmbannerI was at the website of Derek Abbot, a dude from Australia, and he has this tremendous chart listing different animal sounds, what word is used to describe their sound in Australian English and the word for that sound in different languages.

Here’s how different languages write down a small dog’s arf arf:
Finnish — hau hau
French — ouah ouah (in a high voice)
German — wau wau (in a high voice)
Turkish — hev hev

A big dog’s bark also has some different interpretations:
Danish — vov-vov (in a low voice)
Russian — gav-gav
Spanish — guf guf

In English, pigs oink. In Hungarian, pigs röf-röf (pron: reuf-reuf).

There’s much, much more at Derek’s website. I seriously urge you dudes go head over there and browse a bit. You’ll definitely leave with a much better appreciation of the words you use every day.

Footnotes & Errata

* If anyone says one word — one word! — about the fox saying something, I will hunt you down and do something appalling to the thing you love most in this world. Do not assume this is a joke.
** Provided you’re unable to actually click the mouse and go to another site. I’m going to assume you’re here for more than that reason. Of course, I like to kid myself so I might be doing that here.

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Dad Fu, Animal Style

Listen up, dudes. I believe I’ve stumbled on the ultimate martial art.

No, really. This time I swear I’m not just passing along one of those ads you find in the back of old comic books that tell you how to become the hero of the beach and kick sand into the faces of people who once slighted you and then steal their girl.

I’m completely serious.

See, it started when I was watching how the four-legged members of our Casa de Dude operate around each other. We’ve had three of the little critters in the house at the time. Since then, the oldest — Big Fat Cat — has passed on to the big food bowl in the sky. Or a pit in the back yard. Either way.

Dug the dog likes squirrels.
Dug the dog is the movie-fied version of Buzz. The old, crotchety guy in the glasses? Totally not me. Totally.

Moving on.

In addition to Big Fat Cat, we have the orange Twitchy Cat and Buzz, the Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog. In addition to eating anything too slow to move out of his way, Buzz also is the type to bark at squirrels, birds, moles, chickens, other dogs, people at the door, people walking by in the street, people four streets over that might possibly be thinking about maybe knocking on someone else’s door. Bark and charge, that’s Buzz’s motto.

Buzz doesn’t want to hurt any of these small, furry and twitchy animals. Really. He doesn’t. All he wants to do is hug them. With his teeth. It’s completely different.

You’d think with Buzz’s bark and charge ethos, he’d have produced a (more) psychotic (than normal) cat from the constant chasing. But that’s not totally true.

Big Fat Cat, back when he was alive, got along quite well with Buzz. BFC would be sitting on the floor of a room and Buzz would explode inside. BFC didn’t move. Buzz would run up to BFC, then pull up. Puzzled.

BFC didn’t move. Buzz would look confused. Normally, by this time, he’d be haring off after the spastic furry animal he’d charged. Nope. BFC didn’t move at all.

Eventually, Buzz would get bored and wander off looking for excitement.

Twitchy Cat was a completely different story. Both cats are huge strings of exposed nerves. They are cats, after all. BFC just didn’t show it.

Twitchy Cat shows it when he’s asleep. When he’s awake. When he’s sitting still(ish). When he’s eating and drinking. There’s a reason he’s called Twitchy Cat.

TC’s approach to Buzz was completely different than was BFC’s. Mostly in the fact that TC’s approach was to run away as fast as felinely possible, wailing like to end the world.

Which would, of course, set off Buzz’s Imminent Teeth Hugging Time alarm and he’d be chasing after TC as fast as his stubby legs could carry him.

Two cats, basically the same. One dog. Two different reactions.

So what was the difference?

I’ll tell you, dudes. The difference was Big Fat Cat projected an attitude of “I don’t care. You can’t make me care. Why are you still here?”

Twitchy Cat immediately freaked right the freak out, which triggered the chase. I’d call it the chase reflex, but the word reflex connotes that it is off sometimes.

And here was my big revelation: Show fear and you’re doomed.

Just as we talked about yesterday in that negativity is a choice, and your attitude can change the way you approach life, here’s another example of attitude over aptitude.

If the world sees you freaking out, it’s just gonna go at you all the harder. Mostly just for kicks. If you’re a rock, solid, just going about your business while the world falls apart, the bad crazy stuff will get bored and wander off to find a butt to sniff.

Metaphorically speaking.

Take a breath. Stare down the bad crazy and then go your own way. A martial art for life, not fighting.

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Too Much Time On His Hands

Some days, it doesn’t seem as if there’s enough hours available to get done what needs to be done. I mean, who hasn’t wished for a 30-hour day every once in a while?

Either when you’re having fun or when there’s just so much work due and due right now.

I’ll tell you who.

This dude. This dude right here has way too much time on his hands. And the excess time somewhat explains this. Somewhat. Maybe. Maybe not. You know. . . let’s just take a look at what I’m talking about and we can decide together.

Every Pixar movie is connected. I explain how, and possibly why. Several months ago, I watched a fun-filled video on Cracked.com that introduced the idea (at least to me) that all of the Pixar movies actually exist within the same universe. Since then, I’ve obsessed over this concept, working to complete what I call “The Pixar Theory,” a working narrative that ties all of the Pixar movies into one cohesive timeline with a main theme. This theory covers every Pixar production since Toy Story. 

Jon Negroni, the owner of the blog post in question, then spends the next who knows how many thousand words detailing the order in which the Pixar movies should be viewed, the order in which they take place in the Pixar timeline, starting with Brave, far in the past, and ending with A Bug’s Life, in the distant future.

He finds connective tissue in various characters he says are the same across movies. Like, for instance, the Witch in Brave, who keeps disappearing through doors or not being there when a door is opened, is actually a very-much-aged Boo, from Monsters, who mastered time travel through doors to find her beloved Sully again.

According to Mr. Negroni, the artificial intelligences that manipulated Syndrome to kill off the supers in The Incredibles, continued to develop throughout the intervening years, eventually developing into a faceless corporation called Buy ‘n’ Large, known as BnL, or the company that ruled the Earth, destroyed it by pollution and then arked the remaining humans out into space and special fat suits.

So machines decide to control humans by using a corporation that suits their every need, leading to an industrial revolution that eventually leads to…pollution. When the animals rise up against the humans to stop them from polluting the earth, who will save them? The machines. We know that the machines will win the war, too, because after this war, there are no animals ever to be seen again on Earth. Who’s left?


Yeah, having Cars take place in a post-humanity apocalypse certainly makes sense and definitely explains why I got such a creepy feeling whenever I tried to watch this particular horror.

Congratulations, Mr. Negroni. You’ve managed to think about this for far, far too long. Even worse, now I’m starting to think about it, seeing how things make sense and start considering ways to explain some of the paradoxes inherent in this thesis.

I believe I might need help. A lot of help.

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