Bite-sized knowledge for the hungrily curious

What is a camelopard?

The Answer

Camelopard is an archaic english word for giraffe.

We now call the giraffes, but there was a time where they were commonly known as camelopards, based on its resemblance to a camel and its having spots that were similar to a leopard’s.

Camelopard, sometimes spelled cameleopard, is the more traditional English expression for a giraffe. It comes from Greek kamēlopárdalis, derived from kámēlos “camel” and párdalis “leopard”, and was common until the late 19th century.

Origin of the words ‘camelopard’ and ‘giraffe’


I learned of this biscuit of wisdom from Tom Scott‘s YouTube quiz show Lateral. I don’t recall the episode where this question was featured, but all 6 episodes are excellent. I recommend you check them out.

Bonus Biscuit – Where did the name “hippopotamus” come from?

Middle English via Latin from Greek hippopotamos, earlier hippos ho potamios ‘river horse’ (from hippos ‘horse’, potamos ‘river’).

Hippopotamus | Definition of Hippopotamus by Lexico

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