The Jungle Books

Kipling's list
of names in the stories

This list of names, their meanings, and pronunciation, was provided by Rudyard Kipling as an Author's Note for the definitive Sussex Edition of his works (Vol. X11, pages 471-8). We have altered the page references to make them refer to the Macmillan Uniform Edition of The Jungle Book (1) and The Second Jungle Book (2)



[March 30 2007]
  1. TABAQUI (1 p. 4) the Jackal, is pronounced Tabarky. I think I made up this name myself (accent on bar).

  2. GIDUR-LOG (1 p. 4) means literally `Jackal people'. Gidur, pronounced Geeder, is an Indian name for the jackal, and log - pronounced always logue, to rhyme with vogue - means people. Same as Bandar-log means Monkey People. BANDAR is pronounced Bunder.

  3. SHERE KHAN (1 p. 7) is pronounced Sheer Karn. 'Shere' means `Tiger' in some of the Indian dialects, and `Khan' is a title, more or less of distinction, to show that he was a chief among tigers.

  4. THE WAINGUNGA (1 p. 7) is a real river in Central India. It is pronounced Wine-gunger (accent on gung, I think).

  5. LUNGRI (1 p. 7) is pronounced as spelt. It means literally `Lame', as Shere Kahn was.

  6. RAKSHA (1 p. 12) ('The demon'), which Mother Wolf was when any one interfered with her cubs, is pronounced Ruk-sher (accent on Ruk).

  7. MOWGLI (1 p. 15) is a name I made up. It does not mean. `frog' in any language that I know of. It is pronounced Mowglee (accent on the Mow, which rhymes with 'cow').

  8. AKELA (1 p. 16) which means `Alone', is pronounced Uk-kay-la (accent on kay).

  9. BALOO (p. 20) is Hindustani for `Bear'. Pronounced Bar-loo (accent on Bar).

  10. BAGHEERA (1 p. 20) is Hindustani for a panther or leopard. It is a sort of diminutive of BAGH, which is Hindustani for `Tiger'. Pronounced Bug-eer-a (accent on the eer).

  11. IKKI (1 p. 27) the Porcupine. I think I made this up. It rhymes with `sticky'. (HO-IGOO (2 p. 25) is a real native name for him.

  12. MAO (1 p. 27) pronounced something like Mor, is a native name for the Peacock.

  13. KAA (1 p. 43) is pronounced Kar. A made-up name, from the queer open-mouthed hiss of a big snake.

  14. MANG (1 p. 46) the bat, is Mung, a made-up name.

  15. HATHI (1 p. 49) is pronounced Huttee, or say nearly so. One of the Indian names for `Elephant'.

  16. CHIL (1 p. 56) the Indian Kite, pronounced Cheel.

  17. COLD LAIRS (1 p. 64). There are lots of old deserted cities in India which look very much like the Cold Lairs in the Jungle Books. It is called Cold Lairs because when any animal leaves its lair or den, the place becomes cold, of course. Same with man as animals.

  18. The MOHWA (2 p. 13) pronounced Mow-er to rhyme with cow-er, is a tree that bears sweet sticky smelly blossoms which some of the native tribes in the Jungle make into a strong drink. Its Latin name is Bassia Longifolia, I believe.

  19. THA (2 p. 17) the Elephant that was Lord of the Jungle in `How Fear Came', is pronounced Tar. A made-up name.

  20. MYSA (2 p. 20) the Buffalo. I made it up. Pronounce it My-ser (accent on My).

  21. MESSUA (1. p. 90) the woman, is pronounced Mess-wa (accent on Mess).

  22. KHANHIWARA (1 p. 96) is a real place on the map. It ought to be pronounced Kan-i-war-rer, I think.

  23. BULDEO (1 p. 96) the hunter, is almost as it is spelt, but the o isn't sounded very much (accent on Bul).

  24. PURUN DASS (1 p. 97) is Poor-un Darss, a real native name.

  25. RAMA (1 p. 98) the herd-bull of the buffaloes, is pronounced Rar-mer (accent on Rar).

  26. NILGHAI (2 p. 96) pronounced Neal-guy. It means literally `blue bull', a wild antelope as big as a small pony (accent on guy).

  27. THUU (2 p. 163). In `The King's Ankus' Thuu is pronounced Thoo-oo.

  28. PHAO (2 p. 223) is pronounced Fay-ou: he was son of Fay-owner. A made-up name.

  29. The PHEEAL (2 p. 224) pronounced Fe-arl,is the noise that a jackal sometimes makes when he is following or going before a hunting tiger. It is, men have told me, quite different from his regular cry and not nice to listen to.

  30. DHOLE (2 p. 225) is Dole: and is one of the native names for the Wild Hunting Dog of India.

  31. WON-TOLLA (2 p. 225) is pronounced Woon-toller (accent on too).

  32. The DEKKAN (2 p. 225) is part of the big Central Plain of India. Look it up on the map.

  33. BEE ROCKS (2. p. 242). There are some rocks above a river near Jubbulpore in India where wild bees have lived for many years. Nobody goes near them if he can avoid it, for sometimes they attack and kill men and horses.

  34. LAHINI (2 p. 252) pronounced Lar-hee-ney, is a made-up name for she-wolves (accent on hee).

  35. FERAO (2 p. 266) the scarlet woodpecker, is pronounced Feer-ow; a made-up name meaning `Come back again', like Spring does.

  36. RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI (1 p. 163) is pronounced Rikky-tikky-tar-vi. Mongooses are as bold and clever as I have tried to describe, and they often come into a house or even into an office with people going in and out all the time, and make friends with men there. A perfectly wild mongoose used to come and sit on my shoulder in my office in India, and burn his inquisitive nose on the end of my cigar, just as Rikki did in the tale.

  37. NAG (p. 267) pronounced Narg, is a native name for the Cobra. Nagaina (pronounced Na-gy-na; accent on gy) is his wife.

  38. DARZEE (p. 267) which means `tailor', is pronounced Dar-zy.

  39. KARAIT (p. 273) is pronounced Ker-ite (accent on ite).

  40. CHUCHUNDRA (p. 275) is Chew-chun-drer, and CHUA (p. 276) is pronounced Chew-er.

  41. NOVASTOSHNAH (p. 293). I don't know how this should be pronounced. It is a Russian name.

  42. SEA CATCH (p. 293). Sea Catchee is the Russian name for a full-grown seal.

  43. MATKAH (p. 295) pronounced Mut-ker (accent on Mut), means a mother seal.

  44. KOTICK (p. 296) pronounced Ko-tick, means `baby seal' (accent on Ko).

  45. SEA VITCH (p. 305) is Russian for `Walrus).

  46. GALAPAGOS etc. (p. 308). All the islands and places mentioned in `The White Seal' are on the map. You had better look them up.

  47. The GREAT COMBERS OF MAGELLAN (p. 310) are the big waves that roll up from the South Pole to the beaches and rocks of Patagonia.

  48. SEA Cow (p. 311) is another name for what are called 'Manatees' or `Dugongs' in the natural-history books.

  49. PURUN BHAGAT (p. 323) pronounced Poorun Bhuggat,means 'Purun the Holy Man'.

  50. COCO-DE-MER (p. 326) is the very big coconut shell that comes, I believe, from the Seychelles Islands, and does not grow in India.

  51. CHOTA SIMLA (p. 328) means `Little Simla', the native quarter of the town of Simla.

  52. KALI (p. 329) pronounced Kar-li, is the name of an Indian Goddess (accent on Kar).

  53. LANGURS (p. 333) pronounced Lun-goors, are the big monkeys of the Himalayas.

  54. BARA-SINGH (p. 333) is native for `Big Horn' (pronounced Burra Sing).

  55. MUGGER-GHAUT (p. 348) pronounced Gort, means `the Crocodile Ferry', or bankside.

  56. The GAVIAL (p. 354) is a sharp-nosed alligator, who does not generally eat men. The Mugger's nose is as blunt as a boot.

  57. MOHOO (p. 357). CHAPTA, BATCHUA, and CHILWA are the names of fresh-water fish.

  58. The BET (p 359) (Bate) is a rich farming district between two rivers in Northern India.

  59. KIKAR (p. 359) (Kee-kar) is a scrubby, spiny tree that belongs to the Acacia family (accent on Kee).

  60. The MARTINI (p. 374) was an old make of rifle, firing black powder. The four-bore was a gun used for shooting elephants, very heavy, and firing a bullet about an inch in diameter.

  61. QUIQUERN (p. 381) is pronounced Kwai-kwern, and the places named in the story can be found on maps of the country inside the Arctic Circle. Look them up.

  62. HIRA GUJ (p. 439) (Hee-ra), BIRCHI GUJ and KUTTAR GUJ are all true names of elephants.

  63. CAMELS (p. 445) as in `His Majesty's Servants' are nervous and stupid creatures when they are all camped together. They stampede at night sometimes for no reason, and fall all over the tents and horse-lines.

  64. The BULLOCKS and ELEPHANTS of the big-gun batteries of 40-pound Armstrong guns (p. 448) are not needed now that machinery has come into fashion, and the batteries were abolished long ago.

  65. CARBINE (p. 456) was a very great Australian racer, who carried off all the big events in the racing line, many years ago.




[R.K.]

İRudyard Kipling 1936 All rights reserved