Huge thank you to the Mental_Floss site which sends out emails with trivia and information that I read on an almost daily basis. However, this one email with the origin of the word bunny stood out to me for obvious reasons…
I never questioned where the word came from, I just assumed, like many animals (like dogs or cats) it was yet another name for them.
This is what Mental_Floss had on the origins of Bunny:
“Doggy” for dog makes sense, as does “kitty” for cat, when you think about it. (“Kitty” is a simply corruption of the word “kitten.”) But where does “bunny” come from?
Actually, “bunny” is closer to the original word for the floppy-eared critters than “rabbit” is. Up until the 18th century, the common word used for adult members of Oryctolagus cuniculus was “coney,” which was pronounced “cunny.” Eventually, that word fell out of favor because of its similarity to a word that was becoming increasingly more commonly used as a vulgarity. So timid souls along the way chose a rhyming alternative, and “coney” became “bunny.”
“Rabbit” was originally only used to describe a young or baby hare, but eventually the meanings of the words got switched, and we now use “rabbit” as the catch-all word for Bugs and his friends.
Again, huge thank you to Mental_Floss, I’ve posted their link a number of times on this posting, I just want to make sure that they receive the credit for this information and please visit their site!