Why People Write Dolfin vs. Dolphin
  • April 1, 2020
  • By John McNamara

Have you ever seen the word ‘dolphin’ spelled ‘dolfin’ and wondered why? Well it has to do with phonetic variations found in the English language, which is said to be one of the most complicated languages to learn. It’s my first language and I still have trouble understanding some of the rules!

When it comes to these phonetic variations in the English language, perhaps the biggest is dealing with the variation of the “ph” sound. Now why would our ancestors insist on using “ph” to basically make the “f” sound? Why spell it ‘phone’ when you can spell it ‘fone?’ We see this interchangeability between ‘ph’ and ‘f’ a lot, particularly online. I’m not sure if this is people never paying attention to spelling in school, or if they are merely trying to be cute.

Or perhaps people are incredibly smart and know the origins of the word dolphin. This word is originally from the Greek word delphís; “dolphin”, which was related to the Greek (delphys; “womb”). So basically the interpretation means a ‘fish’ with a ‘womb’.

Later, the word was transmitted via the Latin delphinus, Middle Latin dolfinus and the Old French daulphin, which reintroduced the ph into the word. When we see the historical spelling of dolphin, we can see that both the ‘ph’ and ‘f’ have been used. So, between phonetics and history, it’s easy to why many people spell the word ‘dolfin’ instead of‘dolphin.’

However you feel like spelling it, the fact is, dolphins are some of the most amazing creatures on this planet. But just how much do you know about dolphins?

Fun Dolphin Facts

two dolphins

Dolphins have got to be some of the most interesting animals that live either on land or in the sea. Keep reading to find out some really cool facts.

A Variety of Species

dolphin species

Did you know there are nearly 40 species of dolphins on the planet? While the majority live in the tropical oceans of the world, primarily in shallow areas, a handful of species live in rivers.

Dolphins Eat A Lot

Dolphin eating

Dolphins are carnivores that eat a variety of fish, squid ancrustaceans. A 260-pound dolphin will generally eat roughly 30 pounds of food a day. Since they are almost constantly in motion, they need a lot of calories to power their bodies.

The Dolphin Brain

Dolphin Brain

Did you know the dolphin brain is surprisingly similar to the human brain? That explains the intelligence of these playful creatures. Dolphins are as smart as apes, some experts say smarter, and can be trained to communicate with us.

Dolphins are Actually Whales?

whales vs dolphins

That’s right, dolphins are actually part of the family of whales that includes pilot whales and orcas. Killer “whales” are actually dolphins.

Dolphins are Incredibly Social

dolphin pods

Like other mammals, including us humans, dolphins are incredibly social creatures. They live and hunt in groups and are often seen playing together out in the open water. Large pods, called ‘super pods,’ can have as many as 1,000 dolphin members.


dolphin mother and calf

Gestation differs depending on the specific species of dolphin. Some dolphins carry their babies for nine months while others may carry them for as long as 17 months. That’s nearly two years!
Once born, the calf will nurse for up to two years and stay with their mothers for anywhere from three to eight years.

Acute – and Not So Acute – Senses

dolphin sonar

Dolphins’ sense of hearing is incredible. They can hear frequencies 10 times the upper limit of adult humans. However, they have no sense of smell.

Get Up-Close-and-Personal

Mexico Puerto Vallarta Dolphin Royal Swim

It’s one thing to learn all about dolphins (or dolfins), but it’s another thing entirely to get to interact with them yourself. Want to pet a dolphin and watch them do tricks? Dolphin World has a program for that. Want to dive into the water and actually swim with them or get a dorsal fin ride? We’ve got programs for that, too!

Dolphin World has swim facilities in Florida, Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean and our programs fit all sizes of budgets. Take a look at what we offer and book your next vacation today.

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