Incidentally, Basque is by no means unique in having such a diversity of terms for butterflies.
Some of the German synonyms may have originally been more specific, but each is (or was) the primary term in the area where it was recorded. For instance, Sommervogel (or, in dialect form, Summervögeli) is the usual word for butterflies of all sorts in Breisgau, not just a particular species.arabarra wrote:But actually I wonder if all those names, both in Basque or German or any other language were meant to name a generic "butterfly" or were originally particular names for particular butterflies. This could explain (along with the dialectal thing) the variety of names.
arabarra wrote:... what I don't understand is why you became incredulous in the first place... does "miserikoletea" not sound butterfly-y enough to you, or you don't trust Nabokov as a rule?
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