Student or Learner
Does anybody know how words such as "hedgehog" emerge?
I mean a hedgehog is not really a pig, is it?
And do you know similar words? Is there a grammatical designation for words like that?
Thanks in advance!
Not any more than a groundhog is a pig. Nor is a guinea pig.
I imagine there are not so many words as we think there are, so we have to reuse them creatively at times. Greeks called a hippopotamus a "river horse." The French calls potatoes "apples of the earth."
The "hog" part of the hedgehog's name originated because of the animal's pig-like snout. Some creatures get odd names like that, simply due to their outward appearance. For example, a seahorse never ventures out of the water and you can't saddle and ride it, but because its cute little head has a definite equine quality it was dubbed with a horsey name.