What Does Hedgehog Mean

Explore the various meanings and interpretations of the term ‘hedgehog’ – from its literal definition to its symbolic significance in literature and folklore.


When someone mentions a hedgehog, the image of a cute, spiky animal may come to mind. But what does the term ‘hedgehog’ really mean? Let’s delve deeper into the various meanings and interpretations of this fascinating word.

Literal Meaning

In its most literal sense, a hedgehog is a small mammal with spines or quills covering its body. These spines serve as protection against predators, making the hedgehog a unique and interesting creature.

Symbolic Meaning

On a symbolic level, the hedgehog has been associated with various characteristics such as protection, intuition, and adaptability. In literature and folklore, the hedgehog is often depicted as a wise and resourceful animal.

Case Studies

One famous example of the symbolic meaning of the hedgehog is found in the ancient Greek fable of ‘The Hedgehog and the Fox.’ In this story, the hedgehog represents a focused and consistent approach to life, contrasted with the fox’s deceptive and cunning nature.


According to research, the hedgehog population in the UK has been declining in recent years due to habitat loss and other factors. Conservation efforts are being made to protect this iconic species and ensure its survival for future generations.


So, what does hedgehog mean? It can be seen as a literal animal with unique physical characteristics or as a symbol of wisdom and adaptability. The term ‘hedgehog’ holds different meanings for different people, but one thing is clear – it is a fascinating and versatile word that continues to intrigue and inspire.

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