Words of the Day: Aardvark and Aardwolf

As a writer it’s important that I have a large vocabulary, so I have decided to read through the dictionary. To keep me accountable I will post my favorite words from each dictionary page. Definitions come from Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition.

Aardvark. This is a fun word because of the double a’s at the beginning as well as the image it conjures of a big-eared, long-snouted mammal eating ants. I’d say it looks like the head of a donkey with the snout of a pig on a small bear’s body. What do you think? In case you’re interested, Aardvark essentially means “earth pig” in Dutch. Aarde–earth. Vark–pig. It is also known as an “ant eater.” They make their home in South Africa, except for the ones pictured below which look like they make their home in someone’s house. Aren’t they cute?

Aardvark. Image from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aardvarks.jpg
Aardvark. Image from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aardvarks.jpg

You’ll all heard of aardvark’s before, so that wasn’t anything new, but what about the aardwolf? This South African relative of the hyena feeds on termites and insect larvae. Night time must be the best time to feed on insects because like the aardvark, it is nocturnal.

Aardwolf. Photo by Greg Hume. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aardwolf25.JPG
Aardwolf. Photo by Greg Hume. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aardwolf25.JPG