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Badger Vs. Skunk: When To Use Each One In Writing?

Badger Vs. Skunk: When To Use Each One In Writing?

Unless you have a vast knowledge of most animals, it can be difficult to distinguish between a badger and a skunk. These mammals have a lot in common, including physical similarities; that is why they are often confused. A look at badger vs. skunk reveals when to use each word in your writing.

Badger: an animal with short legs, wide feet, long claws, and strong jaws. These animals live underground, and they come out at night to feed. A skunk is a small black-and-white animal that uses a strong and unpleasant smell as its defense mechanism.

You have probably heard of or seen these animals at one point. It could be in person or video, but did you see a badger or a skunk? Find out more about a badger and a skunk to tell these animals apart.

badger definition

Definitions Of Badger And Skunk

When people discuss “badger” or “skunk,” they usually refer to mammals that produce an unpleasant smell. According to their DNA, badger and skunks are not closely related mammals, but most people assume they are connected, and others think they are the same animals.

This section will discuss the difference between these animals and other definitions of the word “badger” and “skunk.”

Definitions Of Badger

The most used badger definition is “a mammal with a white head with two broad black stripes.” These animals are nocturnal; they live and sleep underground and only come out at night to feed.

Another meaning is any stocky omnivorous musteline mammal belonging to the subfamily “Melinea.” They are mainly found in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Badger is also repeatedly telling someone to do something or asking questions. It is to bother someone persistently. A similar definition to this is to persuade someone through constant annoying efforts.

Definitions Of Skunk

The popular definition of a skunk is a small black and white animal that releases unpleasant-smelling liquid. They use the smelly liquid as a defense mechanism.

A common meaning is an unpleasant person; someone deemed to be despicable. A slang definition of the word is a strain of cannabis smoked for its potent psychoactive properties.

Another slang definition of the word is to defeat overwhelmingly in a game or a contest. It also means to keep someone from scoring any points.

How To Use Badger And Skunk In A Sentence Properly 

You can study your dictionary the whole day, learning different definitions of words. However, that will only tell you what the words mean. It would be best if you did more research to learn how to use these words. Regarding the words “badger” and “skunk,” we have done the research for you. Here are the various ways you can use these words.

How And When To Use Badger

Use the word when referring to an animal with a narrow face, heads with brown or gray hair, and light and dark hair on their bodies. The word badger, in this case, is a countable noun. In the plural form, it is badgers.

As a verb (an action word), the word refers to persuading someone by repeatedly telling them to do something. It could also refer to an act of continually questioning someone. However, note that this word has a negative connotation.

You can also use Badger (capitalized) when referring to someone who is a native of Wisconsin. Use it also as a nickname. Here is a fun historical fact; Wisconsin is also the Badger State. It was given this name because the first people who settled there between the 1820s and 1830s had no shelter. So during the winter season, they had to live like badgers, in tunnels burrowed into the hillsides.

How And When To Use Skunk

Use the word skunk as a countable noun when referring to a small black and white animal that releases an unpleasant liquid when frightened or attacked. In most cases, these animals live in North America. The plural form of this word is skunks.

Informally, you can use the word skunk to refer to someone who is contemptible. This is someone that most people cannot stand to be around.

Use skunk also when referring to defeat. That is when talking about a victory over someone or another team. Skunk also applies to a defeat in a game where one side fails to score.

You can also use it when referring to someone or something that prevents you from scoring or succeeding. In both these cases, a skunk is a transitive verb, a word that requires an object to receive an action. Another use of the word skunk is to refer to the street name of marijuana.

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Badger Vs. Skunk: 3 Key Differences

The definition and usage clearly show that the words badger and skunk differ. But there is a reason why people confuse these two mammals. Read on to learn much more about the differences between the badgers and skunks so that you don’t confuse them going forward.


Badgers belong to the Mustelidae family. The animals in this family have long-tube-like bodies, short legs, thick necks, and small heads. They also have scent glands that can emit foul-smelling secretions. These animals inhabit terrestrial and aquatic regions. 

Originally skunks also belonged to the Mustelidae family. But genetic analysis showed that these animals belong to a family known as the Mephitidae. The animals in this family have small triangle heads and small ears. In addition, they have short legs and webbed toes that have claws.

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Size And Tail

Compared to skunks, badgers are bigger and stronger. These animals can average between 24-30 lbs. On the other hand, skunks are small in size; most average between 1-15 lbs. Badgers have muscular short tails. In comparison, skunks have short and strong nails.


It is essential to note that, unlike the skunks that use their smell mechanism for defense, badgers only spray to mark their territory; only in rare cases will these animals utilize their secretion as a defense mechanism. However, their spray is less powerful than that of the skunk. 

Skunks are popular for their stink; they are the smelliest animals in the world. Yes, you can try to imagine that. The spray is powerful and scares away even large predators.

Examples Of Badger And Skunk Use In Sentences

We have learned the definition, usage, similarities, and differences between badgers and skunks. It is time to learn how to use these words in sentences. Here are example sentences of these words.

Examples of the word badger

  1. The most unexpected thing happened today; a badger crossed in front of us while driving.
  2. We had to badger our parents into coming with us.
  3. I was badged into volunteering for the mission.
  4. Can you see those sleeping badgers?
  5. Malik has married a true Badger.

Examples of the word skunk

  1. I found the children hooked on the television, watching a skunk documentary.
  2. My dog was playing in the field when a skunk suddenly attacked him.
  3. Do you know the difference between the effects of marijuana and skunk?
  4. It is strange to find so many skunks in this part of the country.
  5. You are such a skunk no wonder you do not have any friends.

Badger vs. Skunk: The Verdict

Both mammals are similar in appearance and excrete foul-smelling liquids. However, badgers and skunks are different animals from varying families. The article discusses all these in detail and gives exciting information about these animals. Show off what you have learned by sharing with your friends the unique traits of these stinkers.