I had a fairly inconsequential (first round) question last week where I asked for teams to give the four-letter word for the young of a deer.
Answer: Fawn (The additional clue was given by the fact that it was the same-letter round and the letter was F).
However, as I ask the question, one guy pipes up with “What species?”
I reply honestly enough: “I don’t know… a normal deer?”
Later, I asked him what he was talking about. He said that if it’s a red deer then it’s not a fawn, it’s a “calf”.
I asked him how he knew and he said that he used to disembowel them.
“I used to live on Knoydart,” he says, “We used to take them down off the hills and disembowel them. Big ones, and little ones too.”
“Was this for food?”
“Oh, they’re pests, they eat all the trees, and there’s millions of the buggers. There’s no wolves, see?”
So, although there is no strict logical connection between murdering an animal and knowing the technical term for its young, I thought there’s a chance me might know his onions so I head to God (aka Wikipedia) to check out the straight facts.
Wiki gives us this:
"For most types of deer in modern English usage, the male is a buck and the female a doe, but the terms vary with dialect, and according to the size of the species. The male red deer is a stag, while for other large species the male is a bull, the female a cow, as in cattle. In older usage, the male of any species is a hart, especially if over five years old, and the female is a hind, especially if three or more years old.The young of small species is a fawn and of large species a calf; a very small young may be a kid. A castrated male is a havier. A group of any species is a herd. The adjective of relation is cervine; like the family name Cervidae, this is from Latin: cervus, meaning stag or deer."
So there you have it. Blood-handed, wild-eyed, mountain-roaming outdoors type is correct.
A couple of points of order raised by quizzers over the last week or so:
Anaconda versus Pygmy Hippo
Who is the heaviest? Everyone went for anaconda but the Wiki pages are clear. Heaviest verified anaconda weighed 97.5kg while the Pygmy Hippopotamus can reach 275 kg. It’s not even close.
Nigel in the Brass Monkey Leith found a Sun article about a supposed 60-stone anaconda which would be over 300 kg but there are plenty of these mega-snake stories about and the sources are rife with phrases like “estimated” and “thought to be”.