I am no native English speaker, but still I do know enough of the language to understand some of its quirks.... With that in mind, having heard the term "ostracized" now and then, it being synonymous to shunned leaves me rather perplexed by it's playful implications. Would a furry which feels correlated to ostriches feel weirded out by such term?
Darkaos (São Paulo, Brazil)
* * *
LOL, the word "ostrich" and "ostracized" have no relationship. Ostrich is from the Old French word "ostriche," which just means "bird." Ostracize is from the Greek word "ostrakon," which means shell or a piece of pottery. In ancient Greece, when someone was to be banished, their name was written on a shell or piece of pottery (potsherd).
The English language has an interesting history, drawing from languages that include Latin, Greek, French, German, Spanish, Anglo-Saxon, and Nordic tongues, as well as other languages. Anyway, I assure you that no furry who has ever felt ostracized would even think this has anything to do with ostriches. There are no "playful implications" about it, I'm afraid.
Your English is coming along great! I know a little Spanish, but no Portuguese, so you have me at an advantage for sure.
Thanks for a fun question!
P.S. Here is a word for you to learn as you study English (or any language): etymology. Etymology is the study of the origins of words. It is a fascinating field.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.