What’s the Difference Between a Bunny, a Rabbit and a Hare?


The religious content of Easter is relatively easy to explain and understand. The holiday’s substance starts to blur, however, when it comes to a certain anthropomorphized bunny, baskets, pastel colors and eggs. There’s far too much in this semantic basket to tackle; let’s start with the crucial question: what’s the difference between a rabbit, a hare and a bunny?

Hares and rabbits are both in the family Leporidae, but they are separate species. Both animals have long ears, powerful back legs and a divided upper lip. Hares are larger than rabbits. They also do not burrow, but make nests in the grass. Hares have exposed nesting sites and are precocial when born, requiring little parental care. They have fur and their eyes open. Rabbits, on the other hand, are born naked, blind and helpless, and live in more secure dens underground. The word hare comes not from hair, but possibly from the West Germanic word khasan or Dutch hase, meaning “gray.” Hares are usually shy and isolated creatures, but their spring mating ritual makes them most conspicuous to humans during March and April. The turn of phrase “mad as a March hare” hints at mating season, when hares can be seen boxing each other as part of their raucous courtship ritual.

Until the 18th century rabbits were called coneys, based on the French cunil, shortened from the Latin cuniculus. Rabbit first referred to the young of coneys until eventually the word took over in popularity. Incidentally, this is also the origin of the name Coney Island or Rabbit Island, the beachside amusement park in New York. It is one of the only references to coney that is still used in North America.

So, how did it become the Easter bunny? German immigrants brought with them the traditions of Kriss Kringle and the Easter hare. The night before Easter children would find a quiet corner in their house and make a nest out of clothing for the Easter hare to come lay eggs. This is the origin of the Easter basket. The word hare was dropped on its way across the Atlantic and the fuzzier, cuddlier word bunny, a diminutive form for young and small animals, was applied in its place.

Why a hare, and not, say, a chicken to lay those Easter eggs? The intensely short gestation period and well-known reproductive speed of hares and rabbits have a long cultural association with spring and fertility. Eggs are also a fertility symbol. During the Lent fast, Catholics traditionally were not allowed to eat eggs, so they became part of the Easter feast.

A note: Welsh rabbit is an English tavern dish of cheese toast that does not contain rabbit meat. The origin of the name isn’t clear, but the dish originated at a time when rabbit meat was the meat of the poor, and the Welsh were among the poorest in England. Thus, their meat wasn’t meat at all but cheese.

See Also:


  1. camden lang -  November 3, 2016 - 5:31 am

    oh by the way bunnies are cute

  2. Isaac -  November 1, 2016 - 3:22 pm

    I used to have a bunny but we got rid of him and her Because the melted pooping in the house and running away.

  3. Rad Thomas -  October 23, 2016 - 7:51 am

    Just for the record, it is Welsh Rarebit, nothing to do with rabbits at all

  4. kcamlife -  April 18, 2016 - 1:53 pm

    I have a pet bunny but idk if its a girl or boy buts its cute its black and brown

    • KILE JENNER -  May 25, 2016 - 10:50 am

      Ask your Parents

    • KILE JENNER -  May 25, 2016 - 10:51 am

      probably a girl

    • Hannah -  June 12, 2016 - 10:11 pm

      It’s very hard to tell the rabbit genders. If you take it to the Rabbit House society, they can spay/neuter them, and tell you what gender he/she is! :)

    • Ci -  June 15, 2016 - 11:15 am

      Oh boy. It is VERY important to know their gender, especially if you get your little rabbit a friend. You surely don’t want little accidents, despite how cut and precious they are. Go to the vet and they will surely know. Mine was obvious because his testicles clearly showed he was a male rabbit. The rabbits reproductive organs is the only way to tell, but some rabbits are so hairy that it is difficult to see. Either have your parents take a look (or yourself, idk how old you are but I’m inferring that you are a child) or have your parents take the little guy to the vet. You have to know it’s gender for sure to prevent anything and to keep it healthy.

    • Schlong Sucker -  October 19, 2016 - 4:50 pm

      Maybe is Bi

      • Princess Evelyn -  October 20, 2016 - 6:05 pm


  5. Brian -  March 28, 2016 - 10:35 pm

    If you want to read about rabbits, and hares (to some degree) read “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. It is a WONDERFUL book.

    • woof tamer tree climber -  March 29, 2016 - 5:34 pm

      watership down, worst book ever, don’t read it

    • Sophie -  March 29, 2016 - 10:17 pm

      I love that book! It is my second favorite.(It cannot beat Jane Eyre)

      • woof tamer tree climber -  March 30, 2016 - 6:28 pm

        sorry, jane eyre sucks too

  6. cozy -  March 22, 2016 - 8:03 pm

    i think the difference is your mom didn’t shave all her bunny off for me

    • carlo cortez -  March 23, 2016 - 12:23 pm


    • joey -  March 24, 2016 - 9:05 am

      Hi people

  7. jacob -  March 22, 2016 - 6:22 pm

    its so hot thats it burning my own swimming pool outside

  8. DexGypMom -  April 18, 2014 - 11:20 am

    Dear Author:
    You really should have done better research on rabbits before penning this article like starting here:


    All 300 species in this family are not described as “bunnies” and never will be in scientific disciplines. The young of rabbits and hares are referred to as kittens or kits, males are bucks, and females are does. Oryctolagus cuniculus aka the domestic rabbit which is the direct descendant of European wild rabbits and its cousins differ from hares in many aspects which include physiology, skeletal structure, dentition & offspring.

    Please do not buy live rabbits for Easter – buy chocolate ones. For information about Domestic Rabbits as companion animals, please visit:

    • Mimi -  September 13, 2015 - 12:47 pm

      Thank you, for correcting this poorly researched article!

      • jacob -  March 22, 2016 - 6:23 pm

        its okay i’ve been there before its tough but hang in there

    • Jans -  March 21, 2016 - 3:17 pm

      then what is a bunny?

    • Al -  March 23, 2016 - 6:20 pm

      As the article notes – Bunny is a diminutive term for rabbits. The point that a diminutive or slang term doesn’t appear in Scientific literature does not make the article poorly researched. This isn’t an authoritative scientific review like wikipedia…. [awaits reaction]

    • Ok -  April 25, 2016 - 10:27 am

      We got another badass over here thinking he’s smarter because he went to a website and picked out some things that aren’t necessarily relevant to the article. The article was to tell basic differences between rabbits and hares. Which it did, get over yourself

    • Grantham -  October 19, 2016 - 8:14 am


  9. Mattski -  April 17, 2014 - 8:20 am

    By the way, the dish is called Welsh Rarebit, not Welsh Rabbit, and is made mostly of cheese. There is a very amusing silent film based on the myth that the dish causes nightmares titled “Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend,” based on the comic strip of the same name by Windsor McCay of “Little Nemo in Slumberland” fame.

    • Pommy -  August 21, 2014 - 11:19 am

      Thank you, Mattski! I was going to say the same thing! It’s not Welsh Rabbit at all! As you say, it’s Welsh Rarebit, which might possibly be connected to a time when cheese was rare? I’m not sure of the origin, but have made it many times.

    • Loki -  September 28, 2016 - 1:07 pm

      actually another name for it is actually welsh rabbit

  10. Shel -  April 17, 2014 - 6:36 am

    Wow – is Wales in England? I had no idea!

    • Really? -  July 16, 2015 - 7:25 am

      Wales is a completely separate country from England. Learn some basic geography.

      • Brenda -  January 15, 2016 - 6:59 pm

        Many of you (commenters) are quite rude! It isn’t, at all, necessary to be so critical and insulting! That is, unless, you find it impossible to offer helpful information without first making sure that everybody sees how superior your knowledge and intellect is above all others. If that is the case, then I sympathize with your pathetic insecurities. Other people’s feelings are far less important than your’s.

        • Robert -  March 22, 2016 - 3:13 pm

          Wow Brenda, good job of not being critical or insulting about others “pathetic” insecurities.

        • jant -  March 28, 2016 - 9:23 am

          you are the only smart person who ahs put this Brenda. you are a really understandable person, like me right? besides everyone has the right to express but no one has the right to judge…

        • John Reuben -  March 28, 2016 - 10:25 am

          People will always be rude or polite, it all has to do with their background – where they come from. Some want to blame it on society, really? Don’t waste your breathe on people like that, dear Brenda.

        • jess -  May 3, 2016 - 2:09 pm

          Brenda, I totally agree, people can leave very inappropriate and rude comments! get a life people!

  11. Richard -  April 17, 2014 - 2:47 am

    The Welsh were not among the poorest in England, because they live in Wales, a principality next to England and one of the constituent parts of the UK.

    In the UK we would usually call it Welsh Rarebit.

    • Al -  March 23, 2016 - 6:14 pm

      At that time there were migrant workers in London. Some of these were Welsh … and mostly labourers. Therefore, at that time, the Welsh [migrants] were some of the poorest in England. The statement is valid.

  12. Stargoat -  November 15, 2013 - 2:31 pm

    When it’s in your living room, it’s a bunny. When it’s in your yard, it’s a rabbit. When it’s in your shotgun sights, it’s a hare. When it’s in your oven, it’s a coney.

    • Debra Lakin -  March 22, 2016 - 7:59 am

      Great explanation! I’m going with yours!

    • yoyo -  March 23, 2016 - 11:50 pm

      I like this explanation. Acta est fabula plaudite!

      • Random -  April 1, 2016 - 4:38 am

        I’m laughing so hard right now.

  13. 7th grader Marisa Wilburn -  October 26, 2013 - 10:30 am

    I still don’t know what the difference between a bunny a rabbit and a hare is. Can someone tell me.

    • will jay -  April 16, 2014 - 7:25 am

      some one help me i am being held againsg my will in a house on hwy 30 west in lexington kentucky and i am geing beat everyda please help me.

      • Douekos -  April 18, 2014 - 8:08 am

        There are no Highway 30s in all of Kentucky.

        • Laura -  October 5, 2015 - 3:18 pm

          Will Jay is talking about KY 30, its not interstate its a Kentucky highway and it is West of Lexington, Kentucky. I’ve contacted the sheriff’s department there, seriously no one else thought that maybe that’s a real comment and to do something about it?? Wtf is wrong with people. Hope it’s fake but you never know. Let’s keep making jokes about how poorly researched the article is though!! People suck.

          • ChrisM -  March 21, 2016 - 2:50 pm

            Was this ever proven as real?
            Your post was 6 months after the original post.
            And yes, people suck – earth had better hope that there are not alien life forms because if they came to this planet in search of intelligence I’m afraid they would be extremely disappointed and probably annihilate this planet for taking up valuable space in the universe…..

          • jant -  March 28, 2016 - 9:16 am

            you the one who suck laura

      • Jeff -  May 19, 2015 - 6:32 pm


        • Hannah -  June 12, 2016 - 10:18 pm

          Yes, I feel that some commenters are being helpful, but others are being kinda ‘big headed ‘ or unhelpful. Be polite!

  14. "read about it here" -  September 18, 2013 - 12:30 am

    “read about it here”…

    “[...]v Hi, Neat post. There is a problem with your web site in internet explorer, jd[...]“…

  15. MADMike1138 -  April 1, 2013 - 12:39 am

    @Kleally– A monotreme is a mammal. so some mammals do lay eggs.

    • Hannah -  June 12, 2016 - 10:19 pm

      Rabbits/bunnies/hares/coneys don’t lay eggs tho

  16. It's a LOL -  March 31, 2013 - 9:31 pm

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm… Easter Chicken. Not something you hear about everyday. LOL

  17. Tomato Juice -  March 31, 2013 - 7:47 pm


  18. Tomato Juice -  March 31, 2013 - 7:28 pm


  19. Tomato Juice -  March 31, 2013 - 7:27 pm

    The religious content of Easter is relatively easy to explain and understand. The holiday’s substance starts to blur however, when it comes to a certain anthropomorphized bunny, baskets, pastel colors, and eggs. There’s far too much in this semantic basket to tackle; let’s start with the crucial question “what’s the difference between a rabbit, a hare, and a bunny?”
    Hares and rabbits are both in the family Leporidae, but enough distinctions exist between the two that they are separate species. Both animals have long ears, powerful back legs and a divided upper lip.
    Hares are larger than rabbits. They also do not burrow, but make nests in the grass. Because of their exposed nesting sites, hares are precocial when born: they have fur and their eyes open. Rabbits, on the other hand, are born naked, blind and helpless, but live in more secure dens underground.
    The word hare comes not from hair, their soft coat of dull-colored fur, but possibly from the West Germanic word khasan or Dutch hase, meaning “gray.”
    Hares are usually shy and isolated creatures, but their spring mating ritual makes them most conspicuous to humans during March and April. The turn of phrase “mad as a March hare” hints at mating season, when hares box, females batting away the males.
    (A side note: Why is the mysterious Easter Island named for Easter? Find out here.)
    Until the 18th century rabbits were called coneys, based on the French cunil, shortened from the Latin cuniculus. “Rabbit” first referred to the young of coneys until eventually the word took over in popularity. Incidentally, this is also the origin of the name Coney Island or Rabbit Island, the beachside amusement park in New York. It is one of the only references to coney that is still used in North America.
    So, how did it become the Easter bunny? German immigrants brought with them the traditions of Kriss Kringle and the Easter hare. The night before Easter children would find a quiet corner in their house and make a nest out of clothing for the Easter hare to come lay eggs. This is the origin of the Easter basket. The word hare was dropped on its way across the Atlantic and the fuzzier, cuddlier word bunny, a dimunitive form for young and small animals, was applied in its place.
    Why a hare, and not, say, a chicken to lay those Easter eggs? The intensely short gestation period and well-known reproductive speed of hares and rabbits have a long cultural association with spring and fertility. Eggs are also a fertility symbol. During the Lent fast, Catholics traditionally were not allowed to eat eggs, so they became part of the Easter feast.
    A note: Welsh rabbit is an English tavern dish of cheese toast that does not contain rabbit meat. The origin of the name isn’t clear, but the dish originated at a time when rabbit meat was the meat of the poor, and the Welsh were among the poorest in England: thus, their meat wasn’t meat at all but cheese.
    Now, you may be left wondering why Easter is named “easter” to in the first place. Here is the potentially surprising answer.

    • Mal S -  April 19, 2014 - 9:26 am

      Just wanted to reinforce the point that the Welsh live in Wales, not England. England is a different country, in which the English live. However, the Welsh, English, Scottish and Northern Irish all live in a country known as the United Kingdom. By the way, I’ve never heard of the dish ‘Welsh Rarebit’ referred to as ‘Welsh Rabbit’ either!

  20. Tomato Juice -  March 31, 2013 - 7:25 pm


  21. lola -  March 30, 2013 - 6:43 pm

    I like rabbits!!

  22. Matt R -  March 29, 2013 - 10:49 pm

    @ Kleally – monotremes are egg-laying mammals. That’s what monotreme means. *Most* mammals don’t lay eggs. Monotremes do. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    In any case, it’s a bit late to be responding to Kathy’s post, since she posted it almost two years ago.

  23. Who Me -  March 28, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    I know this isn’t a grammatical website but I was bothered by the tile’s use of the word “between.” Between being reserved for comparison of two things; maybe the word “amongst” is more appropriate.

    • Hannah -  June 12, 2016 - 10:21 pm


  24. Hegetarian -  March 28, 2013 - 11:42 am

    And now a question for the grammar nazis: I was taught (back in the previous century) that the word _between_ is used only with a pair of options, and the word _among_ is used with more than two. Is this still the case?

  25. Hegetarian -  March 28, 2013 - 11:39 am

    @Kleally Monotremes are mammals. Mammals aren’t necessarily viviparous – their defining characteristic is the production of milk for their babies.

  26. HAppy -  March 27, 2013 - 10:03 pm


  27. HAppy -  March 27, 2013 - 10:02 pm

    I like bunnies more than rabbits. I used to have one but they we let it go into the wild. I think that was a bad idea cause it was a house bunny. but at least it get to smell the fresh air. I’m happy that he’s where he truly needs to be: In the wild.

    • lol -  June 9, 2015 - 8:24 pm

      he is dead

      • nitro ninja -  October 18, 2016 - 7:53 am

        SHUT UP!! WILL YEA ;- {

  28. Crunchykitty123 -  March 27, 2013 - 5:50 pm

    Wow, I didn’t realize that rabbits and hares were all that different. Now that this is over, they need to make an article on jackalopes!!!! :)

    • Hannah -  June 12, 2016 - 10:23 pm

      LOL YAS :D

  29. JB -  March 27, 2013 - 10:26 am


  30. Anony -  March 27, 2013 - 5:58 am

    Really surprised this article neglected to mention the fascinating reason why “coney” fell into disuse! Firstly, it’s important to note that it was pronounced to rhyme with honey or indeed bunny (unlike Coney Island’s modern pronunciation). Although its primary meaning was rabbit, it was also used as a slang term for vagina (due to its similarity to a certain highly taboo four-letter word). Eventually this secondary meaning of the word became so prevalent that it became rude to use the word in polite conversation, and so it was supplanted by the association-free “rabbit”. I guess it’s similar to what happened with the word “ass” (which originally meant donkey, but fell into disuse due to its secondary meaning of “butt”).

    As for the distinction between a rabbit and a hare. It’s interesting to note that in German the word “Hase” (cognate to “hare”) refers to all wild rabbits and hares, while a separate word “Kaninchen” refers to domesticated rabbits. In German a hare is called “echter Hase” (literally, “true hare”). This suggests to me that the distinction between a hare and a rabbit isn’t altogether clear-cut.

  31. SilverMe -  March 27, 2013 - 5:41 am

    Wales was annexed by England in the 1500s and the Kingdom of Great Britain didn’t exist until 1700s when Scotland join with England.
    And even then Wales was still part of England

    • Timpin -  March 23, 2016 - 3:34 pm

      Ugh, I suck at history. I wish I could remember stuff like that…

  32. Hunter -  March 27, 2013 - 5:41 am

    And the rabbit/hare/bunny hopped away…

  33. Anthony Fantacone -  March 27, 2013 - 12:19 am

    You can’t tell the difference between hares and rabbits when they’re in the oven with potatoes.

  34. VIDHATAFOILS -  March 26, 2013 - 9:26 pm

    Really good post! Hope there will be more good post here!Thanks for sharing valuable information.

  35. Kleally -  March 26, 2013 - 8:54 pm

    @ Kathy – Platapi and Echidnas are monotremes, not mammals. Mammals do not lay eggs.

    • Philosaur -  May 30, 2014 - 6:16 am

      Monotremes are of the order Monotremata, which belongs to the class Mammalia. This means that all monotremes are mammals. Mammals are characterized in part by producing milk for their young, which monotremes do.

  36. ZTbhe -  March 26, 2013 - 1:27 pm


  37. WriteInTime -  March 26, 2013 - 12:49 pm

    The next time I want to learn something, I’ll just read all the know-it-all comments on this site.

    • Hannah -  June 12, 2016 - 10:24 pm


  38. Chuck Kopsho -  March 26, 2013 - 11:48 am

    As long as I’ve been here on Earth he’s been called the Easter Bunny. BTW, I’m 54.

  39. IamNhai -  March 26, 2013 - 8:20 am

    so what’s the difference???

  40. Zuri -  March 26, 2013 - 5:13 am

    wow! I learned so much more about easter and hares from the comments…thanks everyone! I think my favorite lagomorph would be a hare, just because they’re so wild looking and cool like that.

  41. Kerry -  March 26, 2013 - 3:47 am

    These hotword blogs are so full of factual, grammatical and orthographical errors that I can’t even look at them any more. Just look at the references here to Wales being part of England, or the misspelling of ‘diminutive’. One of the most egregious articles was this one: http://hotword.dictionary.com/whom/#more-5246. For a dictionary site, this is shameful and inexcusable. Dictionary.com, get yourselves a new blog writer.

  42. erk -  June 10, 2012 - 2:25 pm

    Welsh Rarebit!

  43. The Hare Club for Men -  April 9, 2012 - 2:03 pm

    As Christian religion was blended with pagan religion in a lot of areas to convert people more easily, the timing of the pagan festival of Eastre/Eostre/Ostara coincided with the timing of the resurrection of Christ. Eastre, was the goddess of fertility, the word ‘eastre’ meaning ‘spring’ . She was represented symbolically by the form of the hare or rabbit being an extremely fertile animal (or the rabbit was the sacred pet of the goddess Eastre/Eostre/Ostara — accounts differ).

    This “rabbit” was first a bird, whose wings had been frozen by the snow because the goddess of spring had arrived late. She saved his life and turned him into a snow hare. She gave him the gift of speed, so he could protect himself from hunters, but because he was a bird first, he could lay eggs in all the colors of the rainbow. He eventually angered the goddess and she sent him into the sky to be a constellation (Lepus, the hare, at the feet of the hunter Orion). He was allowed to come to earth once every year, only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. The Easter bunny tradition had begun.

  44. The Cheshire Cat -  April 9, 2012 - 7:21 am

    bunny, hare, rabbit, they are all the same animal it just has different names, like a cougar(they can be called a; panther, mountain lion, puma, etc.)

    • Hannah -  June 12, 2016 - 10:22 pm

      Thier skeleton or way they look when they are born or how old they are kinda depends on it too, same with your cougar

  45. Me -  April 9, 2012 - 6:22 am

    Ok… Let me get this straight, you guys are confused the difference between a rabbit, hare, and bunny. Let me get this straight for YOU guys.

    I’m pretty sure the rabbit and bunny are the same thing, just ‘bunny’ is a kinder in some ways, and it’s something a kid might call them instead of rabbits… because it sounds like rabies. O.K.?

    P.S., ‘hare’ is either a baby rabbit or bunny whatever, it’s another species, or I’m just going CRAZY!


  46. Cailin -  April 9, 2012 - 3:05 am

    The Irish (Gaelic) for rabbit is coinín – obviously the same word root.

  47. britney -  April 8, 2012 - 1:35 pm

    i mean have not hae

  48. britney -  April 8, 2012 - 1:34 pm

    It is a hare because all u hae to do is read the article and gives you the answer .It actually doesn’t u just have look at the picture and compare it by wat the article says

    • Timpin -  March 23, 2016 - 3:41 pm

      Doesn’t the article say that the hare is larger than the rabbit? I’m pretty sure that you would need one of each in the picture in order for you to make a comparison, so the image is not a very good way to tell the difference. And also, the comments, however much we can trust them, state that this article is, for the most part, VERY wrong. And sure, I’m probably beating a very dead and very rotten horse at this point, judging by the four year difference, but I still wanted to point that out.

  49. Rick -  April 8, 2012 - 10:09 am

    You know there are many species of rabbits and hares each, right?

    • Timpin -  March 23, 2016 - 3:42 pm

      I think it’s just meant to be “in general”. That’s probably a very grammatically incorrect sentence, but oh well.

  50. James Smite -  April 8, 2012 - 5:05 am

    Welsh Rarebit, not rabbit.

  51. Geobie-wan -  April 7, 2012 - 7:36 pm

    @Charisse L:
    “Diminutive” was indeed misspelled in the article as “dimunitive.” And you did sound snarky and disrespectful to the commenter Nicolai when you said what you did about being on Dictionary.com and not looking it up. So that very snarkiness, combined with your own error, bounces back at you. Don’t be mean and you won’t get that result. Basic life lesson, lass!

  52. Geobie-wan -  April 7, 2012 - 7:24 pm

    “It is one of the only references to coney that is still used in North America.”
    It can be the only one, or one of a few, or one of only a few, but “one of the only” makes no sense! On Dictionary .com!

    • Timpin -  March 23, 2016 - 3:47 pm

      No, “one of the only” makes perfect sense (Sure, whole dead-horse thing, with four freaking years in between, but still). Say we were to have multiple references to one thing… say, the “Welsh Rarebit” (because screw originality). One of those references, especially if very different from the others, would be “one of the only” references to the Welsh Rarebit. I probably made no sense in that (sorry), but I have a point.

  53. Abigail Guzman -  April 7, 2012 - 6:18 pm

    Who really care what the difference is? It has ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING to do with coney island. All we need to know it is almost Easter and bunnies are cute. HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

  54. 2nd -  April 7, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    Thanks poppygirl! We are quite the crew.

    This article is cool!

    And adrienrain, you are ruining it for everybody!!!!!!

  55. Betsy -  April 7, 2012 - 7:19 am

    just watched “Jesus Christ Superstar” AND “Godspell” last night w/ my dad.

    easter rocks. (so does mardi gras, valentine’s day, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas…)

  56. Renrut -  April 7, 2012 - 6:38 am

    There is no such thing as ‘Welsh Rabbit’ Others have probably already made such comment. It is ‘Welsh Rarebit’ We recognize it as ‘Cheese on Toast;

    Rabbits don’t lay eggs. They lay each other, again and again and again

  57. Manny -  April 7, 2012 - 5:10 am

    Great info… Happy Easter all!

  58. Vanessa -  April 6, 2012 - 7:47 pm

    Wait why is this being run again…?

    I read it last year.

  59. sherryyu -  April 6, 2012 - 7:30 pm

    coool explanation and dont ciritizes reglionrous thing on dic.com pleas do that on a religous website as said last last time

  60. Rock Scorpion -  April 6, 2012 - 6:07 pm

    Worchester sauce is not pronounced (war-ster) it is pronounced (whoose-ster-sher). Even that won’t give you a precise pronunciation but it’s closer than war-ster. The wh is the wh in when not who and the ose has more of a sh sound than the uze of choose. It is definitely not pronounced War-Chester.

    Just FYI


  61. poppygirl -  April 6, 2012 - 2:40 pm

    I got on dictionary.com to look up a word (too lazy to go get the dictionary) and I got side-tracked reading all the funny comments about rabbits, hares, and bunnies. You guys are very entertaining. Please don’t edit the posts before posting; that’s what makes it so entertaining. Katy, keep up on the homework, and don’t forget to use the contraction of you are which is you’re instead of your. Keep the comments coming.

  62. Sujan -  April 6, 2012 - 1:11 pm

    Hi, Guys

    EASTER is Pagan festival which was established in the year 325AD in Nicea council.

    For more reference regarding EASTER and GOD’S FEAST PLS VISIT: http://www.watv.org / http://www.watvenglish.org.



  63. Singapore Zoological Gardens (part ii) | 11by11 -  March 16, 2012 - 6:48 pm

    [...] These were taken at the zoo last week. I would prefer to call these rabbits bunnies because they sound friendlier. Then again, if you are curious about it being a bunny, rabbit or hare (like i questioned myself this morning and concluded i’ll call them bunnies; be it rabbits or hare), you may want to read this. [...]

  64. katy -  January 22, 2012 - 8:58 pm

    i have a reort about rabbits due tomorrow and i need help with it my moms gonna kill me if i flunk PLEASE HELP ME YOUR MY ONLY HOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hannah -  June 12, 2016 - 10:27 pm

      Princess Leia??? Is that you?!? ;)

  65. Xander -  December 31, 2011 - 8:47 pm

    OK, some of that was interesting, but I must make a point. I was born and raised in Wales and as far as I know, all Welsh are from Wales, which is a country bordering, but separate from England. Therefore, the Welsh are not from England, so they were not the poorest in England, nor is Welsh rarebit (not rabbit, as pointed out above), having hailed from Wales, “English” pub grub. Rather, it is one borrowed and served on occasion in English pubs. In the future, when referring to the countries bordering England, consider mentioning them as being part of the United Kingdom and not of England itself. It’s as if I were to speak of Canada and the United States as one nation. It’s just annoying and culturally insensitive.

  66. Amanda -  May 25, 2011 - 3:26 am

    @ Dimitri: Thanks :)

    @Lytrigian: I was wondering why you didn’t respond to my earlier comment? Although it’s length makes it unlikely, of course it is possible you missed it, so I thought I should ask. Then again, you might have simply thought it not worth a response…? *shrug*

    Back at the ranch, it seems that we have a consensus that the dish is indeed called Welsh Rarebit, not Welsh Rabbit. I’m glad we have readers that can make such corrections, but it saddens me that the blog writers here on Dictionary.com don’t make a bit more effort to get all the facts straight before writing an article like this. Thankfully, this particular mistake is relatively small, but the other issue of referring to all Britain as “England” seems to be more of a problem, since it has been pointed out as happening more than once. We all make mistakes, but maybe some more effort needs to be put into editing these posts before they are published, to avoid such mistakes in the future. Just a suggestion. :)

  67. jame -  May 4, 2011 - 12:10 am

    so why fuss ????

  68. jame -  May 4, 2011 - 12:09 am

    whatever !!! i love rabbit as a pet, but hare ? is it wild ? does it really matter to all of you guys what’s the difference between bunny,rabbit and a hare ???? just for me whatever the difference between them, i really don’t care !!! hahaha !!!!

  69. Curly -  April 28, 2011 - 3:23 pm

    There’s only one way to eat a brace of coneys.

    • Brian -  March 28, 2016 - 10:32 pm

      Yes – with taters

  70. Lando -  April 28, 2011 - 11:34 am

    It’s funnier with two t’s.

  71. Elia Meneses -  April 27, 2011 - 12:14 pm

    i want a bunny!!! give elia a bunny. ( elia is my name)

  72. Emily -  April 26, 2011 - 12:09 pm

    adrienrain’s explanation sounds more probable. America had more Celtic descendants immigrate here than French ones. (And Samwise Gamgee called them coneys too! Any LOTR reference is a plus.)

  73. Lorax -  April 26, 2011 - 10:03 am

    Umm….. @I’m an 11th/12th grader — it would be “buts”. Butt with two t’s is your rear end…. Just an observation :)

    • Timpin -  March 23, 2016 - 3:52 pm

      Okay, I can’t tell whether you’re talking about the one in the article (about the whole “ass”, “donkey”, and “butt” thing), or one in some comment somewhere. But if you are talking about the one in the article, two T’s would be correct.

  74. I'm an 11th/12th grader -  April 26, 2011 - 4:47 am

    I’m a ninth grader! on April 22, 2011 at 9:33 am
    ITS THE EASTER BUNNY! There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it! Easter bunny all the way!

    You spelled buts wrong. It’s butts with two T’s.

  75. Daria -  April 25, 2011 - 2:26 pm

    Fun article – and it looks like there are as many versions of the origins of Easter and Easter related symbols – as there are people who are telling them… ;)

  76. Lora -  April 25, 2011 - 11:17 am

    I once read that the Easter Hare was inspired by a story or legend about a mother who colored some eggs and hid them in a bird’s nest for her children to find, a long time ago. When the children found the eggs they saw a white hare hopping away, and believed that the animal was what brought them. And who were we to argue with them? It wasn’t until later that the Easter Hare started being called the Easter Bunny.
    To be honest, I read that in one of those Charlie Brown ‘Cyclopedias I used to have as a kid. :)

  77. JJ Rousseau -  April 25, 2011 - 9:47 am

    Oui, ain’t never caught a rabbit or a bunny or a hare, yet we cry non.

  78. A Person -  April 24, 2011 - 6:15 pm

    How did you make your comment stretch all the way out of the white space and to the edge of the screen? It’s sort of strange…ah well. That’s the Internet for ya.

  79. matthewq -  April 24, 2011 - 5:27 pm

    ITs so awesome, i want a hair!

  80. marie -  April 24, 2011 - 4:00 pm

    the movie HOP made me see this interesting, thanks for posting.!

  81. Ray Shell -  April 24, 2011 - 2:52 pm

    Wow. This is pretty useful. Thanks for staying awesome dictionary.com!!!

  82. Snowyskies -  April 24, 2011 - 2:07 pm

    I believe the Welsh pub dish was originally called “Welsh Rarebit” – at least that is how I first heard of it. It probably became “rabbit” through slurring the word.

  83. klem39 -  April 24, 2011 - 1:46 pm

    My wife, who is Welsh and speaks it, assures me it is Rarebit and is best served with a dash of Worcester (war- ster) Sauce. Bunnys are not a happy lot in Otago (o-tar-go) New Zealand. The annual rabbit shoot just bagged 23,000 of them, along with 1,000 hares. The () are for those who don’t speak English like what we do 8:)

  84. Iamglutenfree -  April 24, 2011 - 12:28 pm

    with hares and rabbits by their side!

  85. Iamglutenfree -  April 24, 2011 - 12:28 pm

    Rabbity rabbity rabbit! Bunnies rule the world

  86. Lytrigian -  April 24, 2011 - 10:59 am

    @FreezeBreeze: Yes, I’ve heard that nonsense before. It comes mainly from readers of Jack Chick tracts (or those who would approve of them), KJV-only idiots, and the like. It has nothing to do with real history.

    It will do no good but: How does your little non-Biblical fairy tale explain why the feast was not called “Easter”, but rather “Passover”, until a tribe of filthy, uncivilized, violent Germanic barbarians got hold of it? Wouldn’t it be the people actually LIVING in the Middle East who gave it a Middle Eastern name, if it was really named for a Middle Eastern goddess?

    As it happens, Semiramis is an historical figure — around whom a great deal of legend accumulated — who lived in the 9th century BC. Even if you believe the literal Biblical account, this postdates not only Nimrod, but Abraham, Moses, David, and Solomon. Clearly impossible for her to have done what you say.

  87. Leta -  April 24, 2011 - 9:05 am

    I had to do some research this morning because I always think of this item as “Welsh Rarebit,” having tried it when I was a kid. I thought it was yuck. Now I know that the name “rarebit” was used to rationalize the absence of rabbit. Interesting notes on Wikipedia. Thanks for bringing it up!

  88. Tess -  April 24, 2011 - 8:44 am

    “the Welsh were among the poorest in England”?????

    The Welsh lived in Wales I’m sure….

  89. Johnny B -  April 24, 2011 - 6:09 am

    It’s true. Rabbits don’t lay eggs – but they DO lay other rabbits.

    Could the seldom used “cheesy” meaning “of poor quality” have somehow come from the Welsh Rabbit cheese. “Cheesy” Morphing from “cheep and inexpensive” to “poor quality”?

    • Hannah -  June 12, 2016 - 10:33 pm


  90. Reza -  April 24, 2011 - 5:14 am

    The Dutch word for hare isn’t hase but haas.

  91. Maddy -  April 24, 2011 - 1:01 am

    I don’t think this has been touched on at all in the comments, and forgive me if I’m wrong but I was of the understanding that the “Easter Bunny” originated was a European (Germanic?) Folk-tale the gist of which was some children happened to see a hare/rabbit bounding away from a nest containing their Easter eggs -and assuming he’d brought them.

    Thanks also to the people pointing out that Wales(/Scotland/ Northern Ireland) is(are) not a part of England but of Britain. I hope someone from dictionary.com is paying attention because you’ve made that mistake before in these blogs.

  92. FreezeBreeze -  April 23, 2011 - 8:34 pm

    TO Lytrigian – READ ON – AND LEARN –

    The origin of Easter dates back to ancient times, not long after the global Flood recorded in Genesis 6-9 of the Bible. Nimrod, a grandson of Noah, had turned from following his grandfather’s God and had become a tyrannical ruler. According to the biblical record, as king, Nimrod created Babel, Ninevah, Asshur, Calla and other cities, all known for lifestyles that promoted unspeakable evil and perversion. When Nimrod died, his wife, Queen Semiramis, deified him as the Sun-god, or Life Giver. Later he would become known as Baal, and those who followed the religion Semiramis created in his name would be called Baal worshippers. They became associated with idolatry, demon worship, human sacrifice and other practices regarded as evil.

    The origin of Easter involves the birth of Semiramis’ illegitimate son, Tammuz. Somehow, Semiramis convinced the people that Tammuz was actually Nimrod reborn. Since people had been looking for the promised savior since the beginning of mankind (see Genesis 3:15), they were persuaded by Semiramis to believe that Tammuz was that savior, even that he had been supernaturally conceived. Before long, in addition to worshipping Tammuz (or Nimrod reborn), the people also worshipped Semiramis herself as the goddess of fertility. In other cultures, she has been called Ishtar, Ashtur and yes, Easter.

    The origin of Easter goes back to the springtime ritual instituted by Semiramis following the death of Tammuz, who, according to tradition, was killed by a wild boar. Legend has it that through the power of his mother’s tears, Tammuz was “resurrected” in the form of the new vegetation that appeared on the earth.

    According to the Bible, it was in the city of Babel that the people created a tower in order to defy God. Up until that time, all the people on the earth spoke one language. The building of the tower led God, as recorded in Genesis 11:7, to confuse their tongues to keep them from being further unified in their false beliefs. As the people moved into other lands, many of them took their pagan practices with them.

    Contemporary traditions such as the Easter Bunny and the Easter egg can also be traced back to the practices established by Semiramis. Because of their prolific nature, rabbits have long been associated with fertility and its goddess, Ishtar. Ancient Babylonians believed in a fable about an egg that fell into the Euphrates River from heaven and from which Queen Astarte (another name for Ishtar or Semiramis) was “hatched.

  93. saywha -  April 23, 2011 - 6:48 pm

    Whats up with you and sulfuric acid?

  94. kathy -  April 23, 2011 - 5:15 pm

    Some mammals lay eggs. The echidna and the platypus lay eggs.

  95. LoveIsMyResistance -  April 23, 2011 - 2:24 pm

    Same with me @XxfallenangelxX

  96. novela lover -  April 23, 2011 - 2:22 pm

    im catholic and im allowed to eat eggs during the lent fast

  97. XxfallenangelxX -  April 23, 2011 - 2:21 pm

    More than I ever wanted to know about rabbits/bunnies/hares… Anyways, its the Easter BUNNY, been that way since I can remember. :P

  98. Vincent -  April 23, 2011 - 1:14 pm

    In dutch, hare isn’t hase but haas. I think hase is german.

  99. JfromI -  April 23, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    @ Paul Rogers: You must be using the program wrong, then. Please keep your hate to yourself.


  100. sarahmartinez -  April 23, 2011 - 12:08 pm

    i love bunnies!!! happy easter to everybody!!!

  101. Lorax -  April 23, 2011 - 11:32 am

    How cool! I’ve always wondered why the Easter bunny laid eggs. I’ve always kinda been a biology freak and I told my younger siblings that mammals don’t lay eggs. Obviously that posed the question of ” why does the Easter bunny have eggs?” Umm…. what do I say to that? haha! Now I know! Except they still don’t really get the whole ‘reproduction thing’….. oh well….

  102. Karen -  April 23, 2011 - 10:20 am

    This is awesome! I never could tell the difference between all those hopping creatures. To me, a bunny is pet, a rabbit is something I’d see nibbling on my grass and a hare would be something I’d see while camping. But my guess is that I’m probably not right about that.
    Anywho, I am definitely excited for Easter! I’m the one who hides the eggs around at my house and the sure get hidden well!

  103. Me -  April 23, 2011 - 9:55 am

    John Rhea, Hahaha, of course a bunny is real! And any day is a good day for a bunny too, not just Easter!!! Chocolate all the better, Ha!

  104. Dimitri -  April 23, 2011 - 9:45 am

    Thank you Amanda, for getting the history of Easter straightened out.

  105. Allison! -  April 23, 2011 - 9:44 am

    @Lando. Gawd that made my day. Hare club for men! that was on 2 nights ago.phahahaha

  106. Bella domine -  April 23, 2011 - 9:01 am

    Lytrigian you go !

    Now at least we have facts, instead of Anglocentrism. People think the rest of the world revolves around them, truly. Let’s hear it for facts instead of opinion.

    And at our home we have only “bunnies” as pets. Neither hare nor rabbit.

    Easter Bunny (only) all the way! No Easter Rabbits or Easter Hares in our home :P

  107. Book Beater -  April 23, 2011 - 7:58 am

    Sad though it is, most christians belive that religions other than theirs are pagan. You’d know that if you wer’nt some kind of Judaeo-phile heathern (sic). Pay no attention to any definations you might find, and focus on the Passion or the Passover,not the cute and cuddly traditions we use to distract children from the horror that is the foundation of all of western religions.
    Hares are big and live in nest, rabbits are smaller and live in burrows, and bunnies hide eggs from children, get made into synthetic slippers,and sometimes pose nude in magazines.
    Rabbit likely comes from a dutch word, and the Dutch were the orrigional european settlers of the hudson bay area.
    I wish you all a happy Mass, Seder, or Spring Fertility rite.Don’t slaughter all your lambs in one rite, and take pleasure in the glee of your children.

  108. john rhea -  April 23, 2011 - 7:52 am

    So, the Easter Bunny isn’t real?

  109. khurshid -  April 23, 2011 - 7:18 am

    its a rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttttttttttttttt ok……………………

  110. Robert Levy -  April 23, 2011 - 6:14 am

    About Coney Island: Some of the earliest settlers of that area were the Dutch, who found large numbers of rabbits there. The Dutch word for rabbit is Konijn…….thus, Konijn Eiland.

  111. Amanda -  April 23, 2011 - 5:01 am

    I already knew the difference between the three, but learning about the old words and how they changed over time was interesting. :)

    As to Lytrigian’s comment that Easter is not originally pagan, but Hebrew, I think you should really think it over a bit more carefully, though it is an understandable mistake.

    The spring festival dedicated to the goddess of war and fertility, most commonly known as Ishtar or Astarte, and the Hebrew feast Passover are two completely different events in completely different religions that just so happen to take place around the same time. I do believe that Passover predates the pagan celebration, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that the current holiday is based on the older of the two by default.

    The Christians in the early history of the church had started to take on pagan practices and festivals in order to make it more appealing to the pagans of the Roman empire when Christianity became legal (it worked). The spring festival was a convenient one because they already had a feast they were familiar with that fell around the same time (though they mostly did not keep Passover itself anymore, considering it strictly “Jewish”) and, more importantly, it was around that time that they celebrated Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection, so they amalgamated the two events. Thus, we have the current holiday known as Easter.

    In other words, it is a combination of the two, not an either/or thing, but the traditions associated with it today are mostly pagan in origin, including the name. Even if it wasn’t until Christianity came to the British Isles that it was named such, it’s very simple-minded to assume that, because it was named after a Germanic goddess, it must have been based on her festival–paganism is far too multifaceted to jump to such a conclusion. I mean, even the gods themselves migrated between cultures (the Romans were famous for taking on the gods of conquered nations and sometimes changing what they stood for, such as changing the Persian war god Mithra into a sun god). Is it so strange to think that they had already taken on the festival amongst the Romans, but then renamed it after they got to Western Europe so that the locals would be more accepting?
    Also, though Passover predates the festival of Ishtar, the latter does predate the Christian celebration of Jesus’ sacrifice.

    In summary, even if we say that the Christians were celebrating a feast that was Judeo-Christian long before any connection to Ishtar was made, the CURRENT holiday has its roots in both events and cultures.

    And none of the above, besides the name itself, has anything to do with the Angles, Saxons, or any other Germanic group, so I’m sure you’ll agree that the idea isn’t Anglo-centric at all…

    Back to the original reason for this article (I became a little long-winded there–sorry)… I found it especially interesting to learn that hares are born just about ready for complete independence. I mean, most animals, even if they can walk and such within an hour, will still stay with their mother almost constantly until they learn all the important things for survival, like what’s safe to eat and how to escape from predators. Hares are pretty amazing if the babies are mostly independent from day one. :)

  112. ontoursecretly -  April 23, 2011 - 4:50 am

    @ adrienrain

    Harshly suppressed, and now subsidized by the government in much greater proportion than the number of people who are interested in speaking/learning them (BBC Cymru anyone? No?). (I’m just playing devil’s advocate—I find the Celtic languages and history fascinating—but it’s interesting to me, and sad, that they are dying because few people want to speak them, after the bitterness of being forced to give them up. It’s a sort of fitting punishment that Prince Charles had to spend all that time learning Welsh.)

  113. dmq -  April 23, 2011 - 3:43 am

    “The Welsh were among the poorest in England”

    Oh dear! The Welsh were not and are not from England. Wales, Scotland and England are all separate nations which form constituent parts of the United Kingdom. Neither Wales nor Scotland are regions or parts of England.

  114. Indye-yah -  April 23, 2011 - 2:23 am

    Hi everyone

    Loving the coments from all, especially the 9th grader, i think they will be a politician lol. Just for kicks and for those of Coney Island NY, Coney Island is a island off the east coast of northern ireland made famous by Van morrison, our home grown blues brother, and probably was covered in rabbits because the farmers couldn’t get to it to shoot them for din dins. So Happy Easter everbody and enjoy the chocolate feast.

    Indi from Belfast

  115. Paul Rogers -  April 22, 2011 - 10:33 pm

    I hate your program. I signed up to get spelling help, dictionary, and the feature that correctly pronounces the names of words. So far I only have the spelling part, and even that ins intermittent.

  116. cutiepup12 -  April 22, 2011 - 9:41 pm

    easter rox!

  117. Dimitri -  April 22, 2011 - 8:37 pm

    In response to Lytrigian; The point is that all over Europe there was a celebration of spring, of the rebirth of nature. This celebration usually happened around the spring equinox. Rabbits and coloring of eggs predate Christianity. These things have no connection to Christianity, just like the Yule Log, wassailing, or the “X-mas Tree” . You may very well be right that in Britain and Germany the Spring Festival was not called Easter, but the celebration of Jesus’ supposed resurrection took the place of that festival, whatever its true name was, but pagan attributes could not be completely purged.

  118. Charisse L. -  April 22, 2011 - 8:36 pm

    I don’t understand how some have commented on the difference between a rabbit and a hare eluding them during the explanation via this post. I’m pretty sure it was stated that a hare is larger than a rabbit, a hare also builds nests on top of grass unlike rabbits which burrow. There were a few other characteristics expressed to explain the variances, although they may seem slight yet are important in distinguishing the difference between the two species.

    Also regarding the “diminutive” comment, it means “small or minimized” basically and is utilized properly in the text. No disrespect meant, yet how are you on dictionary.com and didn’t think to look it up before that post was submitted?

    Happy Easter to all & thanks the writer for this informative article.

  119. MoustacheEnthusiast -  April 22, 2011 - 8:29 pm

    Wales isn’t part of England. -.-

  120. jesica -  April 22, 2011 - 7:13 pm

    i think it is a hare

  121. inviting a handlename -  April 22, 2011 - 5:31 pm

    The hare got his mad face in his facebook. Change it soon.

  122. Lytrigian -  April 22, 2011 - 5:15 pm



    I hate finding mental slips and typos after the fact.

  123. Lytrigian -  April 22, 2011 - 4:00 pm

    No, Easter did not begin as a pagan festival. It’s a ridiculous statement on its face, and unforgivably Anglocentric. There are other Christians in the world than the white people of the British Isles, you know. Not only have they never heard of “Eostre”, but they don’t call the feast that. In nearly every language BUT English, it’s “Pascha”. This is a Hellenization of the Hebrew “Pesach”, Passover. In Greek, the names of the two feasts are indistinguishable without context or qualification, and in the Orthodox Christian hymnology of the day they are explicitly connected.

    So why “Easter”? It was simply the Anglo-Saxon name of the month in which Pascha typically fell. It’s now fashionable to identify this month with the name of an erstwhile Germanic goddess “Eostre”. Is that correct? Maybe. All we really have is the bare name, mentioned in Bede, who also says there was a festival to her in this month. She is mentioned *absolutely* nowhere else. We have no myths about her, no explicit beliefs, and no clear sphere of influence. She is presumed to be a fertility goddess on the strength of the timing of the festival and the etymology of her name, which seems related to dawn, the connection being perhaps the Spring Solstice.

    Grimm says a few things about her, but he was guessing. Nor is he an independent source, since he read of her in Bede too. We have zero actual information that her festival preceded Christianity “by man centuries”. This is mere presumption.

    Bede even says he’s not recording a living memory. Eostre’s festival had ceased by the time he wrote, to be replaced with the Paschal celebration. So there’s a very strong possibility he was mistaken, and scholars are coming to that conclusion.

    In any event, whatever a group of obscure Germanic barbarians in the northern reaches of the old Roman Empire decided to call this Christian feast when they were finally converted, it had nothing to do with its origins in the civilized nations around the Mediterranean.

    • No -  October 21, 2016 - 9:54 am

      Not right ,though it was a pagan holiday and Chirstains made holidays similar to other reglions just so they can be converted.Plus is work on some Nords but others had to tortured to be converted.Christians also did this with Christmas. Christmas was based off Yule,which is a Nordic holiday.

  124. Phillip -  April 22, 2011 - 3:10 pm

    Only if you believe …

  125. Mary Anne -  April 22, 2011 - 2:41 pm

    ….so then it seems the term Welsh Rabbit is a spoof on how “cheap” the Welsh were…meaning what one could expect…haha…a piece of cheese!!! …with many more connotations…being they were so dirt poor they couldn’t even afford rabbit. One might call it a “quickie”.

  126. J.B. -  April 22, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    Yeah Easter!

  127. Jvitchka -  April 22, 2011 - 12:35 pm

    Hare’s don’t lay eggs.

  128. Small Potatoes -  April 22, 2011 - 11:00 am

    I’m still wondering where the word “rabbit” came from…

  129. silverangel -  April 22, 2011 - 10:57 am

    Dear adrienrain:

    Thank you so much for pointing out that Easter began as a pagan fertility festival. I hope to see dictionary.com make sure to indicate this when they cover Halloween, Xmas and New Year’s Day!

    • No -  October 21, 2016 - 9:56 am

      Christmas was based off the holiday Yule which was made by the Nords.

  130. Pete -  April 22, 2011 - 10:51 am

    Welsh Rabbit is a popular *British tavern dish.

    the Welsh were among the poorest in *Britain

    Wales and England are separate countries, both part of Great Britain.

  131. pingping -  April 22, 2011 - 10:33 am

    insane :)

  132. Cyberquill -  April 22, 2011 - 10:05 am

    Night of the Lepus. Must-see for rabbit fans. (” Widely panned by critics for its premise, bad directing, stilted acting, and laughable special effects, the film’s biggest failure was considered to be the inability to make the rabbits seem scary. The film has gained cult status for its badness.”)

  133. kathy -  April 22, 2011 - 9:56 am

    baby-rabbits are called kittens, while baby-hares are called leverets. Rabbits are born completely helpless, naked and blind (photos a, b ). Hares are born fully furred, able to see and capable of independent movement. In fact hares can live on their own after one hour from they birth. Therefore their mothers feel free to leave them on the bare ground and hop away soon after the baby is born. Rabbit’s mothers are much more careful and protective to their children: their line a nest with grass, bark and soft stems. Over this, they place a layer of hair plucked from their own bodies. When rabbit-mother leaves the nest, she covers the bunnies with more hair and dead plants to keep them warm and hidden from enemies.

    Hares are generally larger, and have longer hind legs then rabbits and longer ears with characteristic black markings. The skulls of rabbits and hares are also different. Rabbit’s fur coat remains its color year-round, while hares change color from grayish brown in summer to white in winter.

    Rabbits and hares have different diets. If rabbits prefer soft stems, grass or vegetables, hares eat more hard food: bark and rind, buds, small twigs and shoot.

    Rabbits usually live in burrows or tunnels in the ground, where they prefer to stay during daylight hours. They try to keep hidden. Hares on the other hand, always stay on the surface among plants and usually try to escape enemies by running.

    Rabbits are very social animals; they live in colonies. Male rabbits even fight within a group to become the dominant male. The dominant male rabbit then mates with most of the females in the area. In opposite, hares live most of the time by themselves. They come together in pairs for mating only. There is almost no fighting among hares – they just pair off.

  134. Jvitchka -  April 22, 2011 - 9:55 am

    I never knew a hare to lay eggs in a nest like a bird.

  135. Jvitchka -  April 22, 2011 - 9:51 am

    I never known a hare to lay an egg in a nest.

  136. daVID -  April 22, 2011 - 9:43 am

    i agree with noxodas i have 2 animals in my hand and i cant tell which one is a rabit and which one is a hair! aaaaauuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrggggggg!!!!! im just gonna google it thanks adrienrain! u guys rock! LALALLALALALALAL m

  137. kristen -  April 22, 2011 - 9:36 am

    im just happy its going to be easter soon! i found this article on dictonary.com (its my new healthy addidction!) ;0 I LOVE BUNNIES AND EASTER!

  138. Daniel -  April 22, 2011 - 9:35 am

    hippitus hoppitus Deus Domine

  139. I'm a ninth grader! -  April 22, 2011 - 9:33 am

    ITS THE EASTER BUNNY! There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it! Easter bunny all the way!

  140. Noxodas -  April 22, 2011 - 9:20 am

    So, after reading this, I’m still left without knowing the difference between a rabbit, a bunny and a hare. The explanation meandered and got lost.

  141. adrienrain -  April 22, 2011 - 9:16 am

    What’s the difference between a bunny, a rabbit, and a hare? (What does it have to do with Coney Island?)
    (The Hot Word, dictionary.com) A 3-part Commentary on this article:

    1. “Until the 18th century rabbits were called coneys, based on the French cunil, shortened from the Latin cuniculus.”

    The word for rabbit in Irish is ‘coinín’ – pronounced KOHneen. And probably something very close to that among all the Celtic languages once spoken in the “British Isles” and “all Gaul”. These languages, some dead and some hanging on, were there before the Roman Conquest OR the Anglo Saxons. Languages all over Europe – wherever the Celts went – can be expected to have some remnants of Celtic language. Certainly French and English do, and both of them have pockets of living Celtic language. Gaelic was a sister language to Latin, and is one of the two oldest living languages in Europe, the other being Lithuanian. Latin and Gaelic share many words of obvious common origin, which is what you’d expect since they are both Indo European Languages. All these facts considered, it’s a puzzle to me why one must explain the roots of words like “coney” by tracing them to Latin, when the origin is probably much closer to hand. The Celtic languages in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland were harshly suppressed, almost to extinction. They were – and some still are – musical languages, with rich oral traditions, and a body of myth, literature and poetry that deserves recognition.

    2. “Why a hare, and not, say, a chicken to lay those Easter eggs? The intensely short gestation period and well-known reproductive speed of hares and rabbits have a long cultural association with spring and fertility. Eggs are also a fertility symbol. During the Lent fast, Catholics traditionally were not allowed to eat eggs, so they became part of the Easter feast”

    Bunnies, eggs, chicks, flowers, lambs, and certain breadshapes, are symbols of the fertility goddess, Easter, the feast day celebration of which precedes Christianity by many centuries. The rabbit or hare was an especial favorite of Easter, because it is connected with the moon (some see a ‘man’ in the moon, some see a hare or rabbit) and its cycles which are linked to women’s fertility, and so to fertility in general.

    3. In the language of the Lenape Indians of what is now called Coney Island, the name for the place, ‘Narrioch,’ meant “Land Without Shadows” which puts ‘Rabbit Island’ to shame for sheer poetry.

  142. Jenny -  April 22, 2011 - 8:51 am


  143. Lando -  April 22, 2011 - 8:50 am

    It all comes to the Hare Club for Men, which began long before even the Illuminati.

  144. e.bozzi -  April 22, 2011 - 8:48 am

    Opps.. my bad .. it was originally “Rabbit” and morphed into “Rarebit”. seems nobody knows why, it’s just a cheese on toast pub dish.

  145. e.bozzi -  April 22, 2011 - 8:44 am

    The original name was Welsh Rarebit, somehow it morphed into “Rabbit”.

  146. Nicolai -  April 22, 2011 - 7:25 am

    I’m by no means an expert on the English language, but isn’t the word “diminutive,” not “dimunitive?”

  147. blogger -  April 22, 2011 - 7:18 am

    I live near Coney Island. What happened to all the coneys?

    • jacob -  March 22, 2016 - 6:21 pm

      hi i live in texas where its hot ☺


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