I’ve always been fascinated with people and the animals they resemble. Perhaps you had a friend in childhood who was dull and bovine, like an ox. Or keen of wit and smart, like a monkey. Maybe even roly-poly and cuddly like a koala or a panda. What about a good dependable friend, who embodied all the best canine attributes? Or maybe you knew someone who was so silly and irrational and cooked up the most asinine schemes. Ok I think you get the point. This led me to catalogue all the animal-like adjectives I could find at an early age.
Here is a partial reproduction of that list, probably useful to no one but me. It’s the word, followed by the source animal and the human connotation:
Asinine - from ass, donkey – stupid
Canine - from dog – no real human equivalent, except for dependability, reliance and so on
Bovine - from cows, bovids – slow, dull-witted, thick
Equine - from horse (Equus) – like dog, no real human equivalent
Vulpine - from fox – crafty
Ranine - from frog – no human equivalent
Leonine - from lion (Leo) – regal, majestic
Ursine - from bear (Ursa) – no human equivalent
Lupine - from wolf (Lupus) – savage
Porcine - from pig – fat, rotund
Feline - from cat (Felis) – stealthy
Vespine - from wasp (Vespid) – no human equivalent
Piscine - from fish (Pisces) – open-mouthed, dull-witted
Viperine - from viper – venomous, deadly
Elephantine - from elephant – mammoth, huge
Zebrine - from zebra – anything striped in black and white like its namesake
Tigrine - from tiger – no human equivalent
Lapine, Leporine – from rabbit (Lapin) – timid, shy
Aquiline - from eagle – well defined, sharp and hooked, like the eagle’s beak
Musteline - from weasel (Mustelid) – sneaky
For the sake of purity, I’ve only included words suffixed with -ine. This is the reason for ignoring simian and avian and so on.
Of course, the words are perfectly acceptable as epithets without the human connotation. That’s all I can remember for now, if anyone remembers any others not on this list, and I’m sure there are tons more, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.