The names of the Jaguar

When they arrived to America, the Spanish conquistadors called our yaguareté (in guaraní “dyaguá-eté”: “true beast”) a “tiger”, comparing it with a carnivore they already knew: the “Asian Tiger”. The name survived and even today in all Hispanic American countries, from Mexico to Argentina, it is still called: Tigre.

It also receives a multitude of other names, among them we can mention:

Tigra (To the female, unlike the female of the Asian Tiger, which is called Tigress).

Overo, Manchado (Spotted), in the Northwest region of Salta and Jujuy provinces).

Él (He), el Michilo, el Compadre, el Bicho, el tipo (The Guy), names used by the Kollas communities of the Yungas.

Chiví-guasú, yaguá-pará, dyaguá-eté o yaguareté-hú (guaraní).

Otorunco, oturunco, oto¬rongo, uturunco o uturuncu (quichua).

Cangusú o acangusú, onça-canguçú, jaguar-canguçú; onça pintada, onça preta (melánico) (Brasil).

Pok, keyóc o “iyóc (toba).

Toguajlataj (big jaguar).

Wila:h´na, häyox, haiój, ahioj o tiog (wichí).

Ikém (vilela); yiquén o yquempé (chunupí).

Chalue, jalue, hallú o kalvún (puelche).

Ksoguenigoaloen, halsche¬huen o halsheuen (tehuelche).

Yaguarazú (omagua).

Mantis (campa).

Ninii (chayhuita).

Nawel, Nahuel, domonahuel o vutahuen¬chru (mapuche).

Kedók, kerók o kidók (pilagá o toba pilagá).

Regát o lidiagatgaec (mocoví).

Yahuá o iahuá (chiriguano o chané); yauí o yaí (northwest of Brasil); yahuaré (oyampi), titi (aymara); cebro (Salta); caatai (ayoreo); imichursh o nuitymish (chiquitano).

Balam, Zac-bolay (Mayas).

Yunka (Maya Zoczil dialect).

Sipgua (in muisca -chibcha-, Colombia).

Tig marque (French Guyana).

Penitigri (Surinam).

Jaguareté (Paraguay).

Panemé (lenguaje Yaruro).

Kaikuse (lenguaje indígena Pemón).

Tigre mariposo, Tío Tigre, Tiburcio, Mano ‘e plomo (Venezuela).

The names Jaguar and American Tiger are used mainly in scientific areas or by people who do not live in areas where the species lives.

In the Argentinean northwest (Salta and Jujuy) Tigre Manincho is called to the jaguars that, according to the local inhabitants, are shorter, distinguishing between these and others “taller and with longer legs”. We do not know any scientific evidence to say that this difference is real, but for the villagers it is like this. “Ya finó el Tigre Manincho” (“The tiger manincho has already died…”) says the Salta poet Jaime Dávalos in his monumental “El tigrero”.