The Science Dummy is Once Again in the House – Flora and Fauna? | Expat-Mom

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The Science Dummy is Once Again in the House – Flora and Fauna?

23 Apr Posted by in Family Life | 4 comments
The Science Dummy is Once Again in the House – Flora and Fauna?
I’ve always found that any time I use the word “bug” (as in insects) when speaking with Germans, they seem to be a bit perplexed and always give me an, “I’m not sure I understand what you mean,” look.

Eventually the conversation ends in them saying, “Oh, an animal.”

And I am left thinking, “No, not an animal. A bug.”

Here is a conversation with Kay from the other night (And this is an excerpt of the conversation in its original entirety.):

Me: The neighbor was showing me their stick bug the other day and…

Kay: Stick bug?

Me: Yeah, their Stick bug and…

Kay: (Blank Stare)

Me: You know? Their pet. (I’m sick of people not understanding when I use the word bug.)

Kay: (Blank stare)

Me: Like a hamster but…

Kay: Oh, the animal!!

Me: Its not an animal, it’s a bug.

Kay: Yes, and a bug is an animal.

Me: No, it’s not. It’s an insect.

(Both of us literally bump into each other racing to our touch pads.)

Me: What the h@ll!? How are bugs animals?

Kay: (Laughing hysterically in his high-pitched almost Who Framed Roger Rabbit giggle.)

Me: What about fish?

Kay: Animal.

Me: (Shocked look.)

Kay: Everything is either flora or…Oh, what’s the English word?

Me: …Fauna. What about snakes and alligators?

Kay: Animal.

Me: (Again angrily tapping the touch pad.) Grrrr!…What about reptiles and amphibians?!!!

Kay: (Still laughing.)

Me: What about your Xbox?!!!

Kay: That’s a… machine.

Me: You said everything was either flora or fauna.

Kay: But it’s not alive.

Me: It talks to you.

Kay: (Ignoring my craziness.) Are we animals?

Me: Yes. Of course, look at how we act.

Kay: (Suddenly changing the subject.) I know what you are thinking of…Hold on, let me look up the German word.

Me: How is the German word going to help me?

(Kay is tapping away while I wait.)

Kay: It is a subcategory. So you were thinking like monkeys, giraffes, elephants, humans…?

(Still waiting.)

Kay: Mammal!

Me: Grrrrr! Who the h@ll refers to bugs as animals in English? I wouldn’t say, Hey, close the door so the animals don’t fly in.

The conversation in its entirety included Kay trying to trick me by asking about dolphins, and me trying to trick him by asking about tomatoes. Luckily, I have spared you the details.

So, to my Entomologist friends… What are these called? In English please. (And I’m not looking for animal, bug, or insect, but the real scientific name. I need something to stump Kay before he gets home.)




PS… Thank you, neighbors for letting me photograph your animal… I mean, stick bug.

  1. Tom04-24-12

    Phobaeticus serratipes

    • Mommy04-24-12

      Now I just have to learn to pronounce it:)

      • Tom04-25-12

        Stick insect is fair enough, I guess.

  2. bevchen05-16-12

    To be fair, I would probably look at you strangely if you talked to me about a stick bug – although I would understand what you meant – and I’m not even German. (In the UK, they’re stick insects. Bugs are illnesses… or things that make computers act weird).
    bevchen recently posted..Thank you Catholics!My Profile

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