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#1 Tamar G

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 04:27 PM

Is the word "coney" in use anywhere other than in Tolkein's books? ever see it on a menu?

#2 Wilfrid1

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 04:38 PM

The internet is full of unedited, unreliable rubbish, isn't it? In the last five minutes, I discovered that "coney" is an obsolete English word for rabbit; is derived from the Dutch "konijn", meaning rabbit; and is probably of Hispanic derivation. :)

Anyway, it's a real word as opposed to one of Jack Tolkien's fevered linguistic fantasies, and Coney Island is thus named because rabbits once resided there.

If it were to be found on a menu, wouldn't it be a sign of Ye Olde Heritage tweeness?
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#3 Tamar G

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 04:53 PM

so it's not common. I'm having an argument with a coworker who looked up "rabbit" in an online thesaurus and is now convinced that coney is a common menu item. I'd never heard it before, but that doesn't mean much.

perhaps he has seen it on a menu- I have no idea what kind of places he likes to eat in.

#4 flyfish

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 05:24 PM

If Wilf hadn't beat me to it, I was going to duly report that konijn is Dutch for rabbit. I have relatives named Konijnenberg (Rabbithill).

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#5 monkeymay

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 12:50 AM

I just saw at sign advertising conejos at the local Mexi meat market. Good price for them too.
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#6 Guest_Suzanne F_*

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 01:38 AM

You can get Coney Islands at "restaurants" throughout the Detroit area.








Oh. That refers to lousy hot dogs on Wonder-Breadish rolls with yellow mustard, cheap "chili" and chopped raw onions. (Dare I admit that when I lived there, I adored Gus's Coney Island? Hey, it was 30 years ago; what did I know? :) )

But I have actually seen rabbit on menus lately -- maybe at Abbocato (the Italian place on 55th Street owned by the same folks who own Oceana, Molyvos, and City Limits).

#7 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 02:03 AM

"Coniglio" is Italian for rabbit.
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#8 Adam

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 12:05 PM

Anyway, it's a real word as opposed to one of Jack Tolkien's fevered linguistic fantasies, and Coney Island is thus named because rabbits once resided there.

Before we get all populist and critical of Tolkien's use of the word 'coney', it is just a literary technique for making sure the reader understood that Samwise was a bit rustic. You will similar treatment of the language by Dickens and Chaucer etc. I doubt that Tolkien went about calling rabbits "coneys" (as you can see in the chapter heading of that part of the book).

Having said that, the word is still used in some rural bits of Britain and by some game keepers apparently. Originally, it was pronounced to rhyme with 'money' and 'honey' and ment the adult animal, the young were refered to as 'rabbits'. 'Coney/cunny/cony etc' is an Anglo-Norman thing, the Dutch word is apparently, parallel evolution, rather then a root for the English word.


Excitingly, some archeologists dug up a British-Roman rabbit last month. Before this the first evidence of there introduction was Norman (hence the name), but it seems the Romans brought then to Britain, even if the rabbits didn't survive after the Romans buggered off.

There are no native rabbits in the USA, what are called rabbits are actually hares. Apparently.

Never, ever seen 'coney' on a menu. Have seen coniglio many times.

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and sets a food discussion site?


#9 Ron Johnson

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 12:10 PM

There are no native rabbits in the USA, what are called rabbits are actually hares. Apparently.

Whatever they are, they are quite tasty braised or pan fried with gravy and biscuits. :)

#10 Adam

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 12:20 PM

There are no native rabbits in the USA, what are called rabbits are actually hares. Apparently.

Whatever they are, they are quite tasty braised or pan fried with gravy and biscuits. :)

That sounds like a rustic preparation, translated into Tolkienese, this would be Coney, scones and gravy.

Aside: I saw some American rabbits in Viginia (as well as chipmunks, deer, Trumpeter Swans beaver etc etc), would these be Cottontails?

The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born,
and sets a food discussion site?


#11 Ron Johnson

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 12:37 PM

There are no native rabbits in the USA, what are called rabbits are actually hares. Apparently.

Whatever they are, they are quite tasty braised or pan fried with gravy and biscuits. :)

That sounds like a rustic preparation, translated into Tolkienese, this would be Coney, scones and gravy.

Aside: I saw some American rabbits in Viginia (as well as chipmunks, deer, Trumpeter Swans beaver etc etc), would these be Cottontails?

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#12 Adam

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 12:51 PM

Yes that looks like a baby one. I wonder why some sources insist that these are not rabbits. Maybe becuase they are not social and don't dig their own burrows.

Looks like a rabbit to me though.

The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born,
and sets a food discussion site?


#13 Ron Johnson

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 12:52 PM

Yes that looks like a baby one. I wonder why some sources insist that these are not rabbits. Maybe becuase they are not social and don't dig their own burrows.

Looks like a rabbit to me though.

I poked around on some sites related to rabbits, and they say that there are indigenous rabbits in the USA, but that all domesticated rabbits here originated in Europe.

#14 macrosan

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 01:03 PM

"Coney" is still used in the fur industry. I guess it used to sound posher than "rabbit fur" and now it probably keeps the animal rights folks away :)

#15 GavinJones

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 01:09 PM

Conifer?