French Animal Names (How To Say 100+ Words)

On this page you’ll learn the names for more than one hundred animals in French. 100 French animal names. We’ve broken this vocabulary list down into the following categories: Pets, farm animals, forest animals, sea animals, reptiles and insects.


When talking about dogs and cats it is necessary to get the gender correct. A male dog is ‘un chien’ and a female dog is ‘une chienne’. The same goes for cats. A male cat is ‘un chat’ and a femle cat is ‘une chatte. Interesting, there is no gender for puppies and kittens. Both are masculine. Hence, a puppy is ‘un chiot’ and a kitten is ‘un chaton’.

  • bird un oiseau
  • cat un chat
  • dog un chien
  • gold fish un poisson rouge
  • hamster un hamster
  • kitten un chaton
  • parakeet une perruche
  • puppy un chiot

Farm animals

For farm animals, the word for chicken can cause a bit of confusion. When talking about the living animal, a rooster is ‘un coq’ and a female chicken is ‘une poule’. The cooked bird that you eat is called ‘le poulet’. There are also different words for a living pig and and pork meat. The living animal is called ‘un cochon’ (or ‘une cochonne’ in the feminine form) and the meat is called ‘le port.

  • billy goat un bouc
  • boar un anglier
  • bull un taureau
  • chicken, hen une poule
  • cown une vache
  • donkey un âne
  • duck un canard
  • ewe une brebis
  • female pig une truie
  • goat une chèvre
  • horse un cheval
  • lamb un agneau
  • mare une jument
  • ox un bœuf
  • pig un cochon
  • pony un poney
  • rabbit un lapin
  • ram un bélier
  • rooster un coq
  • sheep un mouton
  • turkey une dinde

Forest animals

The words for big game can cause a bit of confusion. For deer, a male deer is ‘un cerf’ and a female deer is ‘une biche’. There are several words for moose. In Europe a moose is ‘un elan’ while a moose is ‘un original’ in Canada. Interestingly, for the word for bear, ‘un ours’, both the -r and the -s are pronounced. One last note on forest animals. The word for owl is, ‘une chouette’. Interesting, ‘C’est chouette!’ means ‘it’s nice!’ or ‘it’s neat!’.

  • bat un chauve-souris
  • bear un ours
  • beaver un castor
  • deer un cerf
  • fox un renard
  • hare un lièvre
  • mouse un souris
  • owl une chouette
  • racoon un raton laveur
  • rat un rat
  • squirrel un écureuil
  • wolf un loup

Sea animals

French vocabulary for fish and sea animals tends to be a bit difficult as the words are significantly different from English. There is one big exception: ‘une crabe’ means a crab. Three kids of fish that are commonly eaten have words that are close to English: ‘le thon’ (tuna), ‘le saumon’ (salmon) and ‘la truite’ (trout). The word for haddock is very different: ‘l’aiglefin’.

Speed up your learning with the right audio course

My friend, Camille, at has helped thousands of students to build a solid base in their French speaking since 1999. She is now offering all of her audio courses at 20% off until September 4th. Click here to learn more!

  • catfish un poisson-chat
  • crab un crabe
  • dolphin un dauphin
  • eel une anguille
  • fish un poisson
  • jellyfish une méduse
  • lamprey une lamproie
  • lobster un homard
  • manatee un lamantin
  • mussel une moule
  • octopus une pieuvre
  • orca un orque
  • oyster une huître
  • penguin un manchot
  • pike un brochet
  • salmon un saumon
  • sardine une sardine
  • sea lion un lion de mer
  • seal une phoque
  • shark un requin
  • shellfish un coquillage
  • stingray une pastenague
  • trout une truite
  • walrus un morse
  • whale une baleine

Zoo animals

Words for the following list of zoo animals tend to be quite easy as they’re very similar to English. The big exception is the word for monkey: ‘un singe’. The word for gorilla is interesting in that with an -ille spelling, one would think that it is feminine. However, it is ‘un gorille’. The words for kangouroo and orangutan come from other languages and are thus masculine: un kangourou and orangutan.

  • camel un chameau
  • cheetah un guépard
  • elephant un éléphant
  • giant panda un grand panda
  • giraffe une girafe
  • hippopotamus un hippopotame
  • jaguar un jaguar
  • kangaroo un kangourou
  • lion un lion
  • monkey un singe
  • orangutan un orang-outang
  • panda un panda
  • panther une panthère
  • polar bear un ours polaire
  • rhinoceros un rhinocéros
  • tiger un tigre
  • zebra un zèbre


Reptile words are almost all based on their Latin names and thus very similar to their English equivalents. The biggest exception is the word for toad: ‘un crapaud’. The French word for snake is ‘un serpant’. In English, the word serpent is synonymous for snake.

  • alligator un alligator
  • crocodile une crocodile
  • frog une grenouille
  • lizard un lézard
  • snake un serpant
  • toad un crapaud
  • turtle une tortue


The following list also contains some creatures which are not necessarily insects are able to be included in this category. Interestingly, there is no specific word for moth. The word for butterfly is ‘un papillon’. The word for moth is ‘un papillon de nuit’, which translates to ‘a butterfly of [the] night’.

  • ant une fourmi
  • bee une abeille
  • butterfly un papillon
  • caterpillar une chenille
  • cockroach un cafard
  • cricket un cricket
  • dragonfly une libellule
  • flee une puce
  • fly une mouche
  • ladybug une coccinelle
  • mosquito un moustique
  • moth un papillon de nuit
  • spider une araignée
  • worm un ver

Let’s review the French animals names!

Download PDF Lesson

Related lessons:

Discover more:

Sign Up For A FREE Trial French Lesson On Skype And Get Instant Access To My French Pronunciation Crash Course.

Get the French Pronunciation Crash Course!