This is a question that school French teachers often hear because students are interested to know if the word will actually be said.
In French, a seal is a “phoque.” It rhymes with “duck”. You see the problem. There is no polite way to say it.
Seeing the Gray Seals at L’Aquarium du Québec reminded of the many seals I saw in Antarctica while working as a cruise ship naturalist.
There are 2 kinds of seals: Fur Seals which have visible ears:
and “True” seals which do not have external ears.
The Gray Seals at L’Aquarium du Québec are “true” seals.
Here is an exotic creature we have missed watching!
Seal Lullaby – Rudyard Kipling
Oh! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us, And black are the waters that sparkled so green. The moon, o'er the combers, looks downward to find us At rest in the hollows that rustle between. Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow; Ah, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease! The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee, Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas.