Have you ever gone to a petting zoo and wondered whether you were looking at lambs or kids (baby goats)? It can be embarrassing to have to ask -- especially if the person you ask is the child in tow. Blush no longer!
Just refer to the animal as a baby ovicaprid and use it as a teaching moment, mentioning that the horn of plenty or cornucopia
refers to a goat's horn, probably not yet visible on the kid in the petting zoo. You could say caprovine, if you prefer. Both words are compounds formed from the Latin words for goat (caper
for a he-goat; capra
for a she-goat) and sheep (ovis
Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, by J. P. Mallory, Douglas Q. Adams says that the confusion between goats and sheep isn't limited to face-to-face confrontations with the grazing animals. Archaeological remains are hard to distinguish, too. The encyclopedia says the goat is better adapted to a variety of terrains and temperatures and provides more milk than sheep or cattle, at least pound for pound. See the Archaeology Guide's article on the domestication of the goat.
More Thursdays' Terms to Learn
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