If cats are feline what are dogs?
Dogs are “canine”. Below I set out the origin of the words “feline” and “canine”.
Google also tells us that the use of the word canine has increased significantly from the 19th century to today.
The word feline means relating to members of the cat family. The use of the word “feline” has risen very substantially since the 19th century. The increase is much more so than for the word “canine”.
I shall speculate and say that this increase is perhaps almost uniquely due to the Internet. For a time, and it still continues to certain extent, the domestic cat almost dominated the Internet particularly in videos and the like. The funny cat video, the celebrity cat, pictures of cats (which was a reason why I started this website) were and still are extremely popular.
The phrase “pictures of cats” was the number one keyword relating to cats about 10 years or more ago. That’s the reason for the title of this website.
The taxonomy (the classification of species) of the cat and dog is worth looking at as well in this article.
The taxonomy of the dog tells us that the dog family is called “Canidae“. And the genius is “Canis“. The taxonomy of the cat tells us that the family of cat is called “Felidae” and the genus is “Felis“. You can see the similarity in these words to both canine and feline.
How is the word “feline” used in a sentence? I would use it this way:
She was lithe and athletic, possessing feline characteristics.
As for the word “canine” I would use it this way:
His canine teeth were very long.
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