I am struggling to find out what to look for. My goal is to find a list of stereotypical anthropomorphic animals, but I am having trouble searching because I don't know what the term is called. For example an Owl is usually smart and scholarly. A fox is usually sly and thieving.

Is there a term for this?

  • The closest thing I can come up with is "mascot." – Adele C Jul 6 '13 at 16:38
  • I think the best way to describe what I'm looking for is to compare it to Animal Crossing. The fox sells counterfeit goods, the owl runs a museum, the policemen are dogs... – lonewookie Jul 6 '13 at 16:42
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    I understand the concept, but I cannot for the life of me think of a word for it. That's both frustrating and really cool. Good job. – Adele C Jul 6 '13 at 17:00
  • There is a list of Animal stereotypes link, but I am looking for something exclusive to animals that are portrayed as people ala Animal Crossing. – lonewookie Jul 6 '13 at 17:03

I have not found a specific term for what you describe, but this tendency is explained historically on Wikipedia, with a list of examples in alphabetical order.


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    +1 because that seems to be the core idea - TVTropes has Animal Stereotypes, for example. – Izkata Jul 6 '13 at 19:17
  • @Izkata I think TVTropes is considered authoritative for such questions. You should offer that as an answer, I'd upvote. Just please don't link to it. – John O Jul 6 '13 at 23:48
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    I did try finding something on TVTropes but since every article has a clever name, it was difficult to tell if they actually had one like what I am thinking. – lonewookie Jul 7 '13 at 0:07
  • I like the designation "Animal Stereotype" because it gets straight to the point and is precise in its description. Kudos. – FoxMan2099 Jul 7 '13 at 4:35
  • @JohnO I'm not so sure it should be separate, since it's pretty much just saying the same thing... – Izkata Jul 7 '13 at 5:32

A list of totemic animals is likely as close as you'll get to what you seek. Here's one such list at whats-your-sign.com: Animal Totem Meanings and Animal Symbolism. I'd take it in with several grains of salt.

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