I think there were some in PIE and ancient Gemranic languages...Actually, I wonder if it is actually a norm for animal names be derived regularly from verbs or compounds of words whose literal meanings have nothing to do with animals and the use of unplittable roots for animals might actually be onomatopoeia(e.g. use the calling of the animals as the name of them), loanwords or might actually be older words whose roots are no longer identifiable because of linguistic changes. This phenomenon does not only occur in animal names, but in a variety of nouns(and exists in English, too, for example, "Morning Glory" is a name for a kind of flowe).
An example is English "dog", which is from Old English docga, which is derived from Old English *docce "muscle"
English "duck" is from Old English duce, dūce (“duck”, literally “dipper, diver, ducker”), which is from Old English *dūcan (“to dip, dive, duck”) and is thus connected to the verb "to duck"
English "spider" is from Proto-Germanic *spinþrô (“spider", literally, "spinner”) and is ultimately connected to the verb "to spin"
English "bear" is from Proto-Germanic *berô , which might be from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer- (“brown, shining”)(and like the Slavic languages, Proto-Germanic language used the word because of euphemism).
Proto-Germanic *fuglaz "bird"(which is the ancestor of English fowl, Standard German Vogel) is from possibly a dissimilated variant of *fluglaz, from *fleuganą "to fly"(*fleuganą is the ancestor of English "to fly"), and the name of another animal is also from the root *fleuganą, which is *fleugǭ "fly(insect)"(*fleugǭ is the ancestor of English "fly(insect)"
English "Centipede" and "Millipede" are ultimately from Latin centi- (“hundred”) + pes (“foot”) and Latin mille (“thousand”) + pedis (“foot”) respectively.
English "sole" is from Latin solea (“sandal, bottom of the shoe”), which gained the meaning "a kind of fish" during Vulgar Latin times before the word was borrowed into English.
Outside of Indo-European languages, in Manchu, the word for "bee" is hibsu ejen, which literally means "lord of honey"
In Japanese, the word for starfish can literally be intepreted as "person-hand"; in Chinese and Standard German, the word for starfish can literally be intepreted as "sea star"
Last edited by k1234567890y
on Wed 29 Mar 2017, 21:20, edited 1 time in total.