The name of the fox in the medieval Roman de Renart. A Germanic personal name, from Proto-Germanic *raginą ‎(counsel by the gods) + *harduz ‎(hard, strong).

Replaced goupil (from Latin vulpecula) by euphemism (properly, antonomasia) – mentioning the fox by name was considered bad luck, so Renart replaced it. Compare English bear (from “brown”, in Proto-Indo-European) and Russian медведь ‎(medvéd’, bear), literally “honey-eater”.



renard m ‎(plural renards, feminine renarde)

  1. fox, small carnivore with upright triangular ears and a pointed snout, from one of several genera of the Canidae family (Vulpes, Atelocynus, Cerdocyon, Dusicyon, Otocyon, Lycalopex, Urocyon
  2. crafty, purposeful and cunning character
  3. (slang) flatulence
  4. (nautical) ancient navigation tool: circular, wooden or copper plate, which enables the helmsman to keep a record of wind conditions by inserting pegs at specific positions
  5. hardly detectable cracks or holes causing a water tank or pond to empty itself

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