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Chinese Words for Animal Names

In Mandarin Chinese, names of things can combine of more than one concept. In fact, we can see this in the names of some Animals in Mandarin Chinese. These names are in the form of compound words consisting of multiple concepts, such as:

  • “fire” plus “chicken” equals “turkey”
  • “pine” plus “rat” equals “squirrel”
  • “bear” plus “cat” equals “panda”
  • “river” plus “horse” equals “hippopotamus”
  • “dragon” plus “shrimp” equals “lobster”
Turkey in Chinese = Fire + Chicken
Squirrel in Chinese = pine + rat
Panda in Chinese = bear + cat
Hippopotamus in Chinese = river + horse
Lobster in Chinese = dragon + shrimp

More Chinese Words for Animals

In addition to the above words, there are more similar compund words for animal names in Chinese.

猫头鹰/mao tou ying – cat headed bird of pray (owl)

海豚 hai tun- seapig (dolphin)

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