Big cat refers to the medium-to-large wild felids… The term is used to distinguish these large felids from the domestic cat and other smaller felidae species. One area of distinction is that big cats can roar, but cannot purr whilst inhaling, only while exhaling. (The cheetah is an exception, being able to make both sounds.)
“Big cat” species:
Others often thought to be “big cats”…
- Snow Leopard
- Lynx (including the Bobcat)
- Puma (other names: catamount, cougar, mountain lion, painted cat, panther)
The word Panther has several meanings:
- Any big cat with the condition known as melanism (causing black fur)…
- Any big cat from the genus Panthera…
OK. So ‘Panther’ was a somewhat silly name for Mac OS X 10.3, since a ‘Jaguar’ (10.2) is a panther, as is a ‘Tiger’ (10.4).
But that’s the past, and we must consider the future. ‘Lion’ is an obvious candidate for an upcoming OS X version name. I suppose ‘Leopard’ might be, too, though I for one always get leopards and jaguars confused. And, too, it seems to me there’s been some sort of attempt to progress upward — tigers being thought of, at least by me, as more powerful than panthers (averaged over panther species, anyway) and jaguars. After ‘Tiger’, anything but ‘Lion’ seems a step back. But then what? Ocelot? Cougar? Bobcat?
No, I’m afraid the long-term nickname prospects do not look promising. They should’ve started with ‘Tabby’ and ‘Maine Coon’, and worked up from there.
(And what do you do after ‘Longhorn’? ‘Holstein’?)