There’s a large set of adjectives ending in -ine (derived from Latin) that refer to animals, among which the most common are canine, relating to the dog, feline for cat, bovine, ox, ovine sheep, and lupine for the wolf. Others are murine for mouse, leporine for hare, sciurine for squirrel, cervine for deer, and anserine for goose. Anatine is from Latin anas, a duck.
This chap — a tufted duck — is definitely anatine
The principal stamping ground of this word is in scientific papers, in part because the zoological family containing the ducks is the Anatidae. However, it does also occasionally appear in literature:
I took refuge in wild theorizing, — if Angels be the next higher being from Man, perhaps the Duck had ’morphos’d into some Anatine Equivalent, acting as my Guardian, — purely, as an Angel might.
Mason & Dixon, by Thomas Pynchon, 1997.
Here’s another example:
Goosnargh (pronounced Goosner) is a village near Preston with a reputation as a centre of anatine excellence. The Goosnargh duck is a white-feathered, yellow-beaked cross between an Aylesbury and a Peking.
Guardian, 3 Feb. 2006
Search World Wide Words
Recently added pieces
Zoilism; Fish-faced; Poach; Immensikoff; Habiliments; The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker; Agister; The Word at War; Not so green as you’re cabbage-looking; Peely-wally; Draw a line in the sand; Porphyrogeniture; Set one’s cap at; Epicaricacy; Furthest and farthest; Hide one’s light under a bushel; Jentacular.
Support World Wide Words!
Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.
Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select your preferred site and click Go!