Morning name: javelina

The morning name from 2/10/16: javelina, the animal. Which then led to javelin, the weapon and equipment in a track and field event. No, they have absolutely nothing to do with one another, etymologically, phonologically, or semantically.

A javelina /ˌhævǝˈlinǝ/ on the hoof:


The story in brief, from NOAD2:

javelina noun N. Amer. another term for peccary. ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from Spanish jabalina, from the feminine form of jabalí ‘wild boar,’ from Arabic jabali ‘mountaineer’

Wikipedia has a longer story, of course. The creature originated in South America and has spread into some warm areas of the U.S.

Some years ago I had friends living in Tucson AZ, who experienced javelinas (which are, you’ll be happy to hear, basically herbivorous) as a mild pest animal.

On to the javelin. The weapon and athletic implement. Again, NOAD2 in brief:

javelin noun   a light spear thrown in a competitive sport or as a weapon. ORIGIN late Middle English: from Old French javeline, of Celtic origin

Ok, different etymology, different pronunciation (/ˈǰæv(ǝ)lɪn/), deeply different referent. It’s just the spelling that makes them look related: JAVELINA looks like JAVELIN + A.


Once again, Wikipedia has a longer story.

2 Responses to “Morning name: javelina”

  1. Moxie Supper Says:

    Reblogged this on moxie supper and commented:
    I love Javelinas! Siempre!

  2. Moxie Supper Says:

    I love Javelinas! Thanks for the post!

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