Bunny vs Rabbit – Find out what’s the difference!

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bunny vs rabbit

Should the Easter Bunny actually be called the Easter Rabbit? While technically it’s more accurate, in North American vocabulary the word bunny and rabbit have become interchangeable. There are some differences between the two words though, if you want to get technical.

Bunny vs Rabbit: The correct word is rabbit, but bunny has a cute connotation so it is often used instead. The word bunny is often used to describe a baby rabbit; however, there is actually a different name for this. A bunny is often thought to be cute, cuddly, fluffy, and friendly.

It’s why the Easter Bunny got its name. Bunny is also usually used by small children as it makes more sense in their lexicon of abbreviated animal names. Finally, you can call a young child Bunny as a term of endearment. The word rabbit should be used in a formal, scientific setting but in a colloquial setting, the word bunny is just fine.

A bunny is a rabbit but a rabbit isn’t always a bunny. Confused? When we talk about rabbits, many people refer to them as both bunnies and rabbits and that is perfectly fine.

What is a Bunny?

what is a bunny

A bunny is another word for rabbit, although it is not an official one. Bunnies are often seen as cute, fluffy animals, and are often thought of as babies.

The most popular bunny is of course, the Easter Bunny. Tied with birth and spring, the Easter Bunny will bring eggs, chocolate, and presents to children.

Children learn the word bunny at an early age, usually before they learn the word rabbit. It is a more pleasant word to say and the “y” ending fits in with other animal nicknames such as puppy, kitty, and doggy.  

What is a Rabbit?

what is a rabbit

A rabbit is a member of the Leporidae family and is a mammal. There are many species of rabbits, including the more popular Cottontail, English Lop, and Lionhead Rabbit.

Rabbits can be both wild and domesticated, depending on their species origins. They are mammals, and female rabbits have litters of around 5 rabbits at a time.  

While wild animals live to be 1 to 2 years old, domesticated rabbits can live between 8 to 10 years.

Rabbits range greatly in size and weight. They can weigh between 1 and 5 pounds, and be 8 to 20 inches tall.

What is a Hare?

what is a hare

A hare belongs to the same family as a rabbit, but there are some very distinct differences. While rabbits can exist as both wild animals and pets, hares belong solely in the wild.

Hares have longer ears than rabbits and like to live either by themselves or only in pairs. One crucial difference between rabbits and hares is that baby rabbits are born blind and need to stay with their mothers for the first 3 weeks of their lives.

On the other hand, hares emerge with their eyes open and can fend for themselves within days of being born.

Baby hares are called leverets. Because of their wild nature, you would never refer to a hare as a bunny.

Is a Bunny a Baby Rabbit?

Baby rabbits are actually called kittens. However, in popular culture, the term bunny often refers to baby rabbits.

If we look at the origin of the word bunny, it could very well come from the Scottish word, bun, which means rabbit or tale of a rabbit. Over time, this word may have morphed into bunny, which is now used to describe small animals, especially rabbits.

Because the word kitten is so well-known to refer to baby cats, using the word for baby rabbits can seem a bit odd. This may be why the word bunny is more often used.

Is a rabbit bigger than a bunny?

If the word bunny is being used to describe a baby bunny, then yes, a rabbit is bigger than a bunny. Just remember that the word bunny is also interchanged with the word rabbit.

Generally, when we think about bunnies, we think about cute, cuddly rabbits. Rabbits actually come in all different sizes and some are not very fluffy at all.

In the general idealization of bunnies, we think of them as smaller than rabbits.

What is the Difference Between Bunny Vs Rabbit?

difference between bunny vs rabbit

The biggest difference between a bunny and a rabbit is that the word rabbit is the correct word to describe this animal. Bunny, on the other hand, is an endearment.

However, many people use both words interchangeably. The word bunny is such a part of North American culture, that we use it all the time to refer to the species of rabbits.

When it comes to perception, most people will think of bunny as a small or baby rabbit, and a rabbit as a full-grown, large animal.

When to Use Rabbit

If you are writing about something formal and are discussing scientific issues, such as breeding, then the word rabbit should be used. It is the proper word, especially in the rabbit community.

Many breeds use the word rabbit in their titles, such as the California Rabbit, the Dutch Rabbit, and the American Rabbit.

When to Use Bunny

By all means, continue using the word bunny with children. It has a nicer sound to it and evokes a sense of innocence that children should be able to experience.

While the technical name for newborn rabbits is a kitten, you can still use the word bunny. Having one word to describe two different baby animals can be confusing for kids, so having the extra word bunny, may help them sort the two animals out.

The word bunny can also be used as a term of endearment. It is often used for young girls and is a nice way of showing your affection at their precociousness.


Rabbits exist in both the wild and in the home and so they are often discussed. However, many people interchange the word rabbit and bunny. The truth is that while rabbit is the scientific name, the word bunny is fine to use, especially by children.

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