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New to the world of ferrets? First-time ferret owners are often puzzled by a whole new set of vocabulary that goes with speaking ferretese. Here is a partial dictionary that should help you out!
by Erika Matulich, Ph.D. Ferrets USA
Volume 7, 2002 Annual
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You should not rely on the veterinary advice or information provided on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any specific situation. Always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the medical condition or treatment of your own pet or animal.

ADV: Aleutian Disease Virus – a contagious parvovirus of ferrets that results in a weakened immune system and eventual death. Can be tested for, but not cured.
Albino: A white (or yellowish) ferret with transparent red eyes and no other markings.
Alpha Ferret: The dominant, or “lead” ferret in a business of ferrets.
Ankle Biter: A ferret wanting attention (or a treat or to be picked up) who asked nicely the first time.
Alter: A ferret who has been spayed or neutered. (See gib and sprite)
Belly Button: A way to determine gender on a ferret is to look for the “belly button” which indicates a male ferret.
Bib: White fur on the chin and throat of a ferret. Often associated with mitts.
Blaze: A ferret with a white stripe between the ears and down toward the nose. These ferrets may be deaf due to Waardenburg’s syndrome. Less commonly called badger or Shetland marking. (See panda)
Blown Coat: When ferrets shed their luxurious winter fur in the springtime, they “blow their coat” or have a “blown coat.”
Bomb: When a non-descented ferret gets frightened, angry or hurt, he may “blow a bomb” or just “bomb” with his anal scent glands. The effect is noticeable but temporary. (Also poof)
Bottlebrush: An excited or angry ferret will “poof” all the tail hair so it looks like a bottlebrush. (Also bushy-tailed)
Bugbite: When your ferret leaps awake from a deep sleep and immediately starts scratching an itch. This is normal behavior that doesn’t necessarily indicate the presence of bugs!
Bulldog: A term used to describe the body style of ferret that is a heavily-built, with short, thick legs and neck, a blunt, broad face, wide chest, and a rolling sort of gait. (Also: husky; Related: whippet)
Bups: Hiccups brought on by excitement, often after a dance.                                               
Business: The correct name for a grouping of multiple ferrets.
Butt Wipe: When ferrets finish going to the bathroom, they will drag their rear end on the floor as a substitute for toilet paper. (Also butt drag, draggy butt, and in a speedy exit from the litter box drag racing)
Chomp: A meeting of ferret teeth and human skin, most often an invitation to play. Often preceded by licking, as in lick-lick-chomp. Correct this behavior by scruffing.
Cinnamon: A ferret with orange-colored guard hairs.
Color diluted: a ferret bred for specialty colorations or markings; color-diluted ferrets include cinnamons, DEWs, pandas, blazes, and other special varieties. Sables, siamese, albinos, and silvers are not considered color diluted.
Corner: Litterbox, from a ferret’s point of view, regardless of what is actually in the corner.
Cow Tipping: This silly urban legend says that renegade bands of roving ferrets can gang up on a sleeping cow and tip it over, then eat it. A possible cause of ferrets being illegal in some areas!
Couch Sharking: An ambush game where ferrets hide under the couch and wait for unsuspecting human victims to sit down, upon which the ferrets will attack the ankles.
Dance of Joy: A happy or excited ferret will bounce around with stiff legs, arched back, open mouth and swinging head. It is normal for ferrets to bounce into walls and off edges while doing this dance. Most often accompanied by dooking and bottlebrush tails. (Also war dance, weasel war dance, ferret fit)
Dash and Cache: When ferrets find a great treasure, grab it, and run off to put it in their hidey-hole. (Also dash and stash)
DEW: Dark-eyed-white (or BEW for Black-eyed-white) indicating a white ferret with dark eyes (not really black, but a deep, cranberry red).
Dook, dooking: The chuckle or chortle sound a ferret makes when excited, exploring, playing, or dancing. A dancing ferret is usually a dooking ferret.
Doughnut: A ferret sleeping in circle.
Duck Soup: Liquefied ferret food supplement usually hand-fed to sick ferrets. There are various recipes, all with high protein meats (usually turkey or chicken, not duck) and added vitamins. (Also woozlegoo)
Dud Stud: A vasectomized male ferret who is sterile, but capable of breeding. Used to bring female ferrets out of season.
ECE: Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis, a contagious ferret-specific virus that results in diarrhea, dehydration and malnutrition. Also known as the greenies or the green slime disease.
FFZ: Ferret Free Zone, or a place where ferrets have been declared illegal as pets because of city, county, or state ordinances.
Ferret: Also Carpet Shark, Carpet Monkey, Fert, Furrball, Furrit, Fur-Kid, Fur-Snake, Fuzzball, Fuzzbut, Fuzzy, Sofa Monster, Weasel and many, many others.
Ferretry: A place that houses businesses of ferrets or breeds them.
Ferreting: Hunting with trained ferrets, usually for rabbits or rats (generally illegal in the United States). Also looking for and finding something, as in “ferreting out the truth.”
Ferreter: A person who manages crews of hunting ferrets. (Also ferretmeister, ferret warden)
Ferret Fishing: An interactive human sport where humans tie a ferret toy to the end of a pole, string, or elastic line, and reel in the ferrets! A favorite game.
Ferret Juggling: The act of having to carry, hold, restrain or control multiple ferrets to keep them from going where you don’t want. (Related: portal ambush)
Ferret Math: A situation (not unlike eating just one more potato chip) that arises wherein the number of ferrets in your household keeps increasing – you just can’t help it!
Ferret Proofing: A never-ending process of trying to keep your household safe from the inquisitive little critters! FLO agents are usually one step ahead of human ferret-proofing efforts, though.
Ferret Slippers: When a human being attempts to walk with multiple ferrets attached to their feet. (See also toe biter, ankle biter). Also a ferret who speedbumps over your foot to get attention.
Fitch: European ferrets bred for fur.
FLO: Ferret Liberation Organization, or an underground ferret group who seems to communicate via ESP or even online. These ferret agents devise mischief and methods of befuddling their humans.
Gib: A male ferret who has been neutered and is unable to breed.
The Good Stuff: Delectable yummies rationed out in too-tiny portions by humans, such as raisins and other treats.
Gravity: A word that is not in your ferret’s vocabulary.
Hidey Hole: The special hiding place of stolen ferret special items. Usually inaccessible by humans. (See dash and cache. Also treasure trove and goodie bin).
Hit Rate: A term used to indicate how well a ferret uses a litterbox or other designated potty area. Ferrets with over an 80% hit rate are considered wonderful!
Hob: A male ferret who is “whole” or unaltered and able to breed. (Also buck outside the U.S.)
Hooman Bean: What ferrets are owners of, or tall bipeds with sensitive skin.
Hug and Scoot: A way for ferrets to transport (or play with) objects (typically round). The ferret grabs the object with front paws, hugs it, pushes it down under the belly, and then scoots backwards. Wild ferret cousins transport whole eggs in this manner. (Also scootch)
Jill: A female ferret who is “whole” or unaltered and able to breed. (Also doe outside the U.S.)
Kit: A baby ferret.
Lick, Licker, Lick-Lick-Chomp: Ferrets lick as a sign of affection, because you taste good, or as a prelude to a chomp.
Mitts: white feet or toes on some ferrets (often accompanied by white knee spots and a bib).
Nip and Run: When a ferret races up to you, mouths you on the shin, and dashes off as an enticement for you to play. (Also driveby)
NONOBADFERRET: A pointless cry of a hooman bean in the process of watching FLO agents in action.
Panda: a ferret with a mostly white face – an overgrown blaze marking.
The Place: Anywhere that is not home, such as a veterinary office, park, or show hall.
Points: the darker colored parts of a ferret – the tail, feet, and sometimes nose. Also, what can be earned in a championship ferret show.
Portal Ambush: When a business of ferrets gather around the base of a door that a human wishes to open and race through as soon as the opportunity arises. This forces the human to employ ferret juggling skills.
Poof: Either an undescented ferret causing a stink (see bomb), or an excited ferret making all fur stand on end (see bottlebrush).
Rainbow Bridge: When ferrets die, they go to the Rainbow Bridge, which is just this side of heaven. They wait for you until you can cross the Rainbow Bridge together.
Rescue: A ferret who has been picked up by a ferret shelter and is available for adoption.
Sable: The foundation color of ferret – brown guard hairs over a cream-colored undercoat, dark mask, and somewhat darker points.
Scruffing: Holding a ferret by the loose skin on the back of the neck, as a mother would carry her kits. This relaxes and calms down a ferret (they will often yawn).
Shiver: The shaking motion a ferret makes when just waking up or being excited about something. Does not usually denote fear; most often a way to regulate body temperature.
Siamese:  A sable ferret with very dark points.
Silver: A ferret with a salt-and-pepper fur coloration.
Snorkeling: Some ferrets want to drink water by immersing their entire head and blowing bubbles (sometimes scuba diving). Other ferrets prefer to dry-snorkel by nosing under carpets, bath mats, or any other fabric on the floor.
Speedbump: When a ferret suddenly lies prostate on the floor (usually accompanied by a deep sigh). This may occur in the middle of playing, which will usually resume after a short session of speedbumping. (Also flat ferret, ferret flop, pancaking)
Sprite: A female ferret who has been spayed and is unable to breed.
Toe Biter: A ferret wanting to entice their human to play (or do the human war dance, which ferrets find hysterically funny).
Waardenburg’s syndrome: A genetic defect found in humans, cats, dogs, mice, and ferrets that results in a white streak of hair, and sometimes results in hearing problems.
Water Weasel: A ferret who enjoys snorkeling, or one who must accompany you out of the shower to lick your feet and any puddles on the floor.
Weasel War Dance: See dance of joy
Whippet: A term used to describe the body style of ferret that is lean, lanky, fineboned and with a tendency toward a pointier nose. (Related: bulldog)
Whole: A whole ferret has not been altered and can breed.
Zipper: The center “line” down the middle of a ferret’s stomach, either caused by fur meeting at the ventral line, or the scar left from surgery.