The financial market vocabulary might sound serious but sometimes it is quite the opposite. Besides from the well-know bears vs. bulls and haws vs. doves, our particular financial jungle is inhabited by gorillas, tigers, both adult and cubs, lions, wolfs, elephants, sharks, alligators, dead cats, cockroaches, and killer bees. Investopedia explains all these concepts.

 “Elephants” are large institutions with funds to make high volumes trades, therefore with large influence on the price of a financial asset. “Gorillas” are the firms that dominate an industry without having a complete monopoly, and “killer bees” are firms or individuals that help a company fend off a takeover attempt. Companies use a variety of anti-takeover measures, sometimes referred to as “shark repellents”. When a company reveals as news to the public, the feeling is that more bad news will follow soon, same as when you see a cockroach you might think there are many more hidden: this is the principle of the “cockroach theory”.

Tigers, lions, and wolfs, some of the most impressive predators of the animal kingdom, are used to describe economies. A tiger economy is the economy of a country that undergoes rapid economic growth. The term was originally used for the Four Asian Tigers (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore) as tigers are important in Asian symbolism. That inspired the Tiger Cub Economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines), the Anatolian Tigers, the Gulf Tiger (Dubai), the Celtic Tiger (Ireland), the Baltic Tiger (Baltic States), and the Tatra Tiger (Slovakia). For emerging economies in Africa, we say lion economies, and in Mongolia “wolf economy” is used.

Little to say about the bulls and the bears, well-known concepts of the financial markets, but less famous is the concept “bear hug”, an offer made by one company to buy the shares of another for a much higher per-share price than what that company is worth. An alligator spread is an unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market movements, and a dead cat bounce is, as most of us know, a short-lived recovery in the price of a declining security.