from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A large deer (Alces alces) of northern North American and Eurasian forests, having a broad pendulous muzzle, humped shoulders, and large, palmate antlers in the male.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The Alaskan moose has been described as a new species, Alces gigas, distinguished by its larger teeth and antlers, and by other characteristics.
  • noun An animal of the family Cervidæ, the Cervus alces or Alces malchis of those who hold that it is the same as the elk of Europe; the moose-deer of America, by some considered specifically distinct from the elk of Europe, and then called Alces americana.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A large cervine mammal (Alces alces syn. Alces machlis, syn Alces Americanus), native of the Northern United States and Canada. The adult male is about as large as a horse, and has very large, palmate antlers. It closely resembles the European elk, and by many zoölogists is considered the same species. See elk.
  • noun Obsolescent. Cant, from the early 1900's. A member of the Progressive Party; a Bull Moose.
  • noun A member of the fraternal organization named Loyal Order of Moose.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the Canada jayor whisky jack. See Whisky jack.
  • noun Same as Moose.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a locality where moose, in winter, herd together in a forest to feed and for mutual protection.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun US The largest member of the deer family (Alces alces), of which the male has very large, palmate antlers.
  • noun Plural form of moose.
  • noun obsolete, rare A stew.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun large northern deer with enormous flattened antlers in the male; called `elk' in Europe and `moose' in North America


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Eastern Abenaki mos.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Earlier mus, moos, from a Northeastern Algonquian language (compare Massachusett dialectal / Narragansett moos, Penobscot mos, Abenaki moz), from moos-u ‘he strips, cuts smooth’, from Proto-Algonquian *mō·swa, referring to how a moose strips tree bark when feeding.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dutch moes.


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  • This young lady is outside my window right now.

    October 8, 2008

  • AWWWW!! Good pic!

    October 8, 2008

  • Her brother was nearby but wasn't cooperating with me.

    October 8, 2008

  • *marvels*

    Do you have this experience often, skipvia? (Having moose outside your window, I mean.)

    October 8, 2008

  • If they don't come and check out our garden at least weekly, we worry about them. I just happened to have my camera out when these dropped by. (They were eating the remains of the garden that we pulled up last week when it snowed a bit.)

    Our cat once chased two moose from our back yard.

    October 8, 2008

  • Skipvia, your cat is pretty much awesome.

    *Looks wistfully out the window for a moose*

    October 8, 2008

  • That cat was fearless. Utterly fearless. But not very bright.

    October 8, 2008

  • I should mention, lest you think that moose are weenies, that I have seen a cow moose back a brown bear about 200 yards up a ravine to protect her calf.

    October 8, 2008

  • Well, if I'd known her calf was there, I would certainly have avoided the place.

    October 8, 2008

  • No moose worth her dewlap would try and face you down, c_b. :-)

    October 8, 2008

  • A classmate of mine in high school accidentally got between a mother otter and her babies at the swimming hole. There were many stitches.

    October 8, 2008

  • *wishes moose would wander the yard here in PA*

    Skip, didn't you also mention here on Wordie a moose crossing your driveway? Wait...ah, yes. It was at ungulate.

    October 8, 2008

  • She otter been more careful, triv.

    October 8, 2008

  • Oh no, skipvia, I would never face down a moose. (Especially not, you know... *jingles chains*) I'm generally kindly in my dun-brown gown of fur and my tiara.

    Otters tend to flee at my approach though. I don't know if it's the smell, or... *shrugs*

    Trivet... what happened, exactly?

    October 8, 2008

  • The otters were going one way and she was going the other. By the time she realized she had interrupted the otter swimming lessons and turned around, it was too late. The mother otter saw a giant pink thing heading for her babies and attacked. The otter backed off and took her family to an elsewhere once my friend got out of the way. People helped her out of the river and got her to the hospital for stitches and a rabies shot. She's got a scar on her shoulder and a story to tell. I don't know what happened to the otters. My classmate's father vowed vengeance, but I never heard if he was successful. I hope the otters just moved upstream and continued their otter business.

    Otters are some of my favorite animals, but I keep my distance, no matter how cuddly Gavin Maxwell makes them seem.

    October 8, 2008

  • Ooh, gosh, that is scary. I missed the part about it being IN the swimming hole so I was imagining a terrestrial attack. Thanks for your patient explanation...

    October 8, 2008

  • I think I have an otter recipe in my fabulous US Regional Cookbook. Let's see.... Nope. That's opossum. Sorry.

    October 9, 2008

  • Not to change to subject, but does anyone actually pronounce the "o" in opossum?

    October 9, 2008

  • I do; well, I say "uh-poss'm".

    October 9, 2008

  • I say "possum," skip, and furthermore I recall reading something somewhere at some point saying that it's the general pronunciation to omit the "o." (Not that that detailed and really thoughtful statement is of any use whatsoever.)

    October 9, 2008

  • I say O-possum. Then I giggle.

    October 9, 2008

  • I say the O. I think it's a law here.

    October 9, 2008

  • My apologies for interrupting the conversation, but I can't restrain myself from citing part of one of my favorite poems from one of my favorite poets. The poem is fairly long and I encourage everyone to read the whole thing. The poet describes – amazingly and beautifully – a long bus trip at night through New Brunswick. About four fifths of the way through the poem, the bus makes an unexpected stop:


    Now, it's all right now

    even to fall asleep

    just as on all those nights.

    – Suddenly the bus driver

    stops with a jolt,

    turns off the lights.

    A moose has come out of

    the impenetrable wood

    and stands there, looms, rather,

    in the middle of the road.

    It approaches; it sniffs at

    the bus's hot hood.

    Towering, antlerless,

    high as a church,

    homely as a house

    (or, safe as houses).

    A man's voice assures us

    "Perfectly harmless. . . ."

    Some of the passengers

    exclaim in whispers,

    childishly, softly,

    "Sure are big creatures."

    "It's awfully plain."

    "Look! It's a she!"

    Taking her time,

    she looks the bus over,

    grand, otherworldly.

    Why, why do we feel

    (we all feel) this sweet

    sensation of joy?

    "Curious creatures,"

    says our quiet driver,

    rolling his r's.

    "Look at that, would you."

    Then he shifts gears.

    For a moment longer,

    by craning backward,

    the moose can be seen

    on the moonlit macadam;

    then there's a dim

    smell of moose, an acrid

    smell of gasoline.

    – the last part of "The Moose," by Elizabeth Bishop

    October 9, 2008

  • That poem's a favourite of mine too, rolig.

    October 9, 2008

  • Hey. I know a moose poem, too.

    Moose Goosers

    How about them Moose goosers, Ain't they recluse?

    Up in them boondocks, goosin' them moose.

    Goosin' them huge moose, goosin' them tiny,

    Goosin them medlin' moose in they hinny!

    Look at them Moose goosers, Ain't they dumb?

    Some use an umbrella, some use they thumb.

    Them obtuse Moose goosers, sneakin' through the woods,

    pokin' they snoozey moose in they goods,

    How to be a Moose gooser? It'll turn you puce;

    Get your gooser loose, and rouse a drowsy moose!

    -Mason Williams, The Mason Williams Reading Matter

    October 9, 2008

  • It's AWESOME.

    October 9, 2008

  • CRAP! I just realized I've been calling elk (British name) this animal for six months, here in America*, and people did not understand me because they thought I was talking about wapitis... that are also known as elks in the US. Oops.

    (*I'm involved in a project that deals with them.)

    October 9, 2008

  • I lived in Maine for over a decade all told, and I never saw a moose, not once. And I spent a *lot* of time outdoors—frequently at Moosehead Lake. People were constantly telling me, "oh, you just missed this giant moose!" It was galling.

    So now you too, eh Skipvia? Even WeirdNet is in on it. You can only fool me for so long about these "moose." Moose are apocryphal.

    October 9, 2008

  • What self-respecting moose would go to Moosehead Lake? Kind of creepy if you're of the moosine persuasion, I would think.

    October 9, 2008

  • This just wouldn't look right with a moose in place of the elk, Pro.

    Actually, it looks kind of creepy with the elk, too.

    October 9, 2008

  • Apocryphal is a pretty decent word to describe moose, John, since they look as if they were put together from random ungulate parts with no overall design in mind. But when you see one maneuver in deep snow, they begin to make sense.

    I can't believe you lived in Maine and never saw one. The trails around Katahdin are crowded with them.

    October 9, 2008

  • The Bippo! Thanks for that, skip! You know, though, I had no idea that elk also had clock hands sprouting from their heads. Learn something new every day.

    Rolig, thanks for the poem fragment--Bishop is a favorite of mine too. :-)

    October 9, 2008

  • Looks like this moose has managed to supplant Jean Dimmock at the top of the most-commented list. Well done, moose!

    October 10, 2008

  • Ἄνδ�?α μοι ἔννεπε, Moose...

    February 21, 2009