Ten Words Every Rat Lover Should Know

Louise Hope
From the RMCA web site, December 2003

This is what linguists call your "core vocabulary." For detailed medical terminology, see the Rat Guide-- or take a year each of Greek and Latin and you'll be able to figure it out on your own. For wild and wonderful rat vocabulary, see Dapper Rat's dictionary.

brux verb  The sound of a happy rat: a steady tooth-grinding, soothing to rat and human alike.
boggle verb  Alarming visual effect produced by happy rats: the eyeballs go rapidly in and out.
marinate verb  What many rats like to do when they sleep. Solution: frequent changes of bedding.
raisin noun  Preferred word for what a rat leaves behind, especially if young or alarmed. Often found in the laundry of careless rat lovers.
PEW noun  Pink-Eyed White. The "generic" white rat. Also: what your visitors say when your rats have been marinating too long.
mischief collective noun  A group of rats.
porphyrin noun  Rat tears, rat snot. Reddish secretions that indicate your rat is stressed, unwell, or needs its bedding changed. The coloring is normal for rats; it's not blood!
myco noun  Short for mycoplasma, organism responsible for mycoplasmosis, a respiratory disease carried by almost all rats. Like malaria in humans, its effects can range from none-- lifetime dormancy-- to severe illness or even death. Most rats fall somewhere between.
sendai noun  Dread disease. More common in mice, but rats aren't immune.
SDA noun  Dread disease. Short for sialodacryoadenitis.