owl (1), moth

noun animal_bird


Proto-Siouan *(wa-)ąhpó•ka

Proto-Crow-Hidatsa *pó•ka (?)

Crow póopahta ‘owl’ GG:53

Hidatsa apó•ka ‘butterfly’ AWJ


Mandan wąpákokoka ‘butterfly’ RH:270 , pá•šošo•hka ‘butterfly’ RTC

Proto-Mississipi-Valley *(wa-)hpóka (?)


Lakota popótka ‘screech owl’ EB:445a , popótka

Proto-Hoocąk-Chiwere *pho-

Chiwere phóxliįñe ‘screech owl’ GMsf

Hoocąk hąąpók ‘owl’ KM:768 , hąąpok ‘moth’ KM:767 , hąąpógnįk , hąąpok, hąąpokįk

Proto-Dhegiha *wahpǫ́ka

Omaha-Ponca wapúgahahada , †wappóga ‘barred owl’ LF:105, F

Kanza/Kaw wappǫ́ga ‘small owl’ RR , giyą́ wappǫ́ga ‘owl moth’ JOD

Osage wap̣óga , †wahpóka ‘gray owl’ LF:198b

Quapaw wappǫ́ka ‘Bogey Man’ RR


Proto-Biloxi-Ofo *ąphó-

Biloxi podádĕ, pódadi, podi, pâ´di , †podadi ‘swamp owl’ D&S:247a

Ofo ạphó , †əphó ‘owl’ D&S:321a , ạphó nạgí, aᵐphónạkĭ , †ąphónəki ‘screech owl’ D&S:321a

General comment

Hidatsa regularly changes aku to o• before k- in the prefix aku- Should the same rule have operated here, Hidatsa apo•ka would reflect earlier *apakuka. Since at least some Proto-Siouan short o’s rise to Hidatsa u, *apakuku might reflect an even earlier *apakoka. Compare the Mandan form. On the other hand, Hidatsa closely resembles Hoocąk, and a simpler explanation of both Crow and Hidatsa would postulate an earlier *po•ka with Crow irregularly assimilating the k to the preceding p and adding a suffix (meaning unknown). The extension to ‘butterfly’ is through ‘moth’, q.v. The Lakota may be an old loan, as it should show aspiration. It is similar to Ofo nạ́phĭ´tka ‘butterfly’. This term has widespread look-alikes in unrelated languages. Chickasaw, for example, has (h)o(•)pa ‘short-eared owl; a kind of large moth’ with the same semantic breadth encompassing both ‘owl’ and ‘moth’ (Munro 1988:256), and there are cognates in other Muskogean languages. The word has obvious sound symbolic connections in the case of ‘owl’ and has pretty clearly undergone a certain amount of diffusion and remodeling. The ‘moth’ terms are typically derived from ‘owl’ by means of a diminutive suffix.

Other languages

  • Proto Muskogean MU *oopa RR
Details Language Word Source