I have now decided that the Nahul word for ‘crow’ is surakh, which also meant deciding that this world has crows in the first place.


This makes me wonder – what bird words have you come up with in your languages? Whether it’s the word for ‘bird’, for specific species or types of birds, or other bird-related words. Are the species invented, too? Anything else you feel like sharing about birds in your languages, or in your worldbuilding?

(I think this is the first time I start a new post. Not sure how to tag it – suggestions welcome!)


11 thoughts on “Birds

  1. One of the word/concept suggestions had a lot of “outdoorsy”/nature words, so I came up with a bunch of these at once.

    kowā: bird
    kēfē: to squawk (as a bird). You can have a person do this but it’s not a complement.
    fān: water (adjective for “water bird”)
    pokuhin: loon (this is a northern, island country so loons are probably big?)
    kēn: feather
    bodē: wing
    nuyip: egg
    ninadu: eggshell
    doked: yolk of an egg
    ninge: nest
    kane: to fly, as a bird (from ka, pushing down)
    kobyu: to fly south
    nēhā: to return north

    1. This is so cool! I love the two verbs. (Is there another word for flying that’s not about birds?)

      Can you give a sentence sample with one or more of these words?

      1. From Star Wars :p

        Nabēk būōpyak yepdogdi damdō “Kowākab Andem Kaēgōdimak.”

        “Our ships have not found ‘The Thousand-Year Bird.'”

        Dēyogaē nuyipdikab! “Cook the eggs!”

        There’s a different word for “fly” (like a bug, flitting about), and to “fly” in an airplane you would use the verb “ride” (as a passenger, usually) with a direct object.

  2. Beldreeni:

    gūmai bird
    rebbe a family of robustly built birds, with tufts by their ears and rough bills
    salmerebbe a specific sea-living species in this family, named after the seafaring Salme people – the bird often follows their ships. Also called zhekapokoyo, lit. ‘ship follower’
    roshi a domesticated bird species kept for meat (and eggs?), a little smaller than turkeys in size. Possibly also used as watch animals.
    savalli a bird species close to geese in size, and like them a fine image in the sky when migrating in a flock. Often used in poetry.
    okwen wing
    yangsi egg (however, the eggs most often eaten by humans in this culture are laid not by birds but by the domesticated peidel lizard)

    Lakespeech: The word for the bird species that the Beldreeni call savalli is o-sin in Lakespeech, the tongue of the Lakefolk. I only know that because it’s also the name for a four-month unit in the calendar used by the city of Meren and surroundings.

    surakh [su’rakʰ] crow
    lór [lɔ:r] a species of domesticated bird kept for its meat but also as a messenger, like pigeons/doves
    odek [ɔ’dɛk] the same species of robust birds known as rebbe in Beldreeni

    1. I came up with more for Nahul!

      setau bird, obj. form setul, (regular for this noun class and word-final diphthong), plural na-setau. A variant form sidau also exists and is widespread, too.
      akhó it flew, lo’akh/lakh to fly. Lakh is used in Lowland Nahul, lo’akh in Highland and Coast Nahul.
      tobul the name for a specific bird of prey, vaguely falcon-like. Obj. form tobulel, plural na-tobul.

      Akhó tobul hinó phi-bakhat. The tobul flew over the mountains.
      Tarumó murai sidau. The old bird became/had become/has become tired.
      So’es akharí na-setau ko mi’ez. Now the birds are flying south.
      Zenatai inan jina-setau-jiko-mi’ez-jakhár. I like when the birds fly south. (Lit. ‘I like the birds’ south-flying’ through Nahul’s peculiar ji- prefix.)
      Dorai lane’u sidau! I want to become a bird! (A child is speaking.)

  3. I don’t think I have much about birds yet in my conlang, and I’m in the middle of a deadline so no time for check but as for your questions:

    With Erziyye, which is the secondary world where I do most my conlanging, I usually work on the assumption that the animals are earth-equivalent but I might sprinkle in some extras if I have a good reason to “invent” an animal. I just don’t have the time to invent whole floras and faunas, but sometimes I want something with a particular look or behavior.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.