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Apr
14
comment What's the difference between manchot and pingouin?
There is an historical debate; the polar explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot insisted on calling penguins "pingouins" based on the idea that the word is imported from the Italian "pinguini", but it seems that in fact the word came from Dutch, itself coming for Welsh "pen gwyn", which means "white head" and would have originally designated the Great Auk. In that sense, French has a "more correct" terminology than English. In general, on etymology-related points, democratic wisdom gets the details wrong.
Dec
5
comment What's the difference between manchot and pingouin?
I must add that most French people say "pingouin" when they see a penguin ("un manchot") because they are not aware of the existence of the auk.