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e-ased.org, vol. 37, no. 3, pp.255-272, 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5635/ASED.2021.37.3.001

The Etymology of Scientific Names for Korean Mammals

Yeong-Seok Jo1, John L. Koprowski2, John T. Baccus3, Jung-Sun Yoo4,*

Affiliation: 1Department of Biology Education, Daegu University, Gyeongsan 38453, Korea 2Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA 3Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA 4Biological and Genetic Resources Utilization Division, National Institute of Biological Resources, Incheon 22689, Korea

Abstract: Etymologies are explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 to 2,000 years ago. When Linnaeus in the mid­1700s began naming animals with a binomial nomenclature, he based names on the Latin Grammatical Form. Since many names have Latin or Greek roots, the name for an animal is the same throughout the world because Latin is no longer a spoken language and meanings of names will not evolve or change. In his use of Latin or a Latinized word for the genus and species, Linnaeus used descriptive words that will always be the same. Notwithstanding the importance of etymologies for scientific names, no study has addressed the etymology of scientific names for Korean mammals. Here, we list etymologies for scientific names of 127 mammal species, 84 genera, 32 families, and 8 orders from Korea. The origins of etymologies are mostly based on morphology, color of pelage, behavior, distribution, locality, country name, or a person’s name. This paper will be useful for new students and trained scholars studying Korean mammals.

Keyword: etymology, Greek, Korea, Latin, mammals, scientific name