Moon calf

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Moon calf refers to a stupid person.


In the 16th century, the term moon calves was the term used to describe the births of domestic cattle whose malformations were attributed to the harmful effects of the moon (e.g. Amorphus globosus ). The expression is folk etymological and originally has nothing to do with the moon, but comes from the word Mon (= monster, ghost).


As the moon calf in William Shakespeare 's last drama The Storm, the wild, ugly Caliban is addressed. The poet Christian Morgenstern also used the term moon calf in his gallows songs (for example in the poem The aesthetic weasel ). HG Wells has the astonished protagonists of his science fiction novel The First People on the Moon (1901) meet on a trip to the moon in an ironic concretization of the meaning of actual moon calves (mooncalves) . The novel Moon-Calf, published in 1920, is often referred to as Floyd Dell's only best seller.

Das Mondkalb (OT: Way… Way Out!) Is an American science fiction comedy from 1966. Mondkalb is a 2008 film by German director Sylke Enders.

Since May 2007, a newspaper has been published in Berlin under the title Mondkalb - Zeitschrift für das Organized Vergelbache , which ironically takes up the term.

Individual evidence

  1. Heinz Küpper : Dictionary of German everyday language. dtv, Munich 1971, vol. 1, p. 210.


  • Daniel Grinsted: The Journey to the Moon: on the fascination story of a media-cultural phenomenon between reality and fiction . Logos, Berlin 2009, ISBN 3-832-52164-X , p. 48.

Web links

Wiktionary: Mondkalb  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations