cynophile or ailurophile

This spectacular vernacular might cause us to fight like cats and dogs.

The first word came to my attention when a cynophobic writer penned a critical essay about cynophiles. As someone who shares his life with four canines, the piece certainly caught my attention.

Cyno comes the Greek kyōn meaning dog. The word can be traced back even further to the Proto-Indo-European *kwon which is the root for a host of words including canine, cynic, and even corgi.

The suffix -phile comes from the Greek -philos. It appears in numerous words to mean one who loves.

So a cynophile is someone who loves dogs. Yes, I certainly qualify.

While researching the etymology, however, I ran across the equally interesting ailurophile, or cat lover. The Greek ailouros means cat, but the Greeks didn’t have domesticated cats, so it probably meant wildcats. The theory is that the word derives from aiolos (fast moving) and oura (tail).

So are you more of a cynophile or ailurophile?


  1. Amarok & Co on April 17, 2023 at 9:01 am

    What’s a combination word for being both . . . 🙂

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