Portrait of a Hippo Personality
  • Large size
  • Helpful
  • Independent
  • Honest
  • Emotional
  • Unpredictable

Scientific Name

Hippopotamus amphibius

Collective Term

A huddle of hippos

Careers & Hobbies

  • Collection Agent
  • Chef
  • Food critic
  • Receptionist
  • Baking
  • Eating
  • Knitting
  • Soap operas

"There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud" ~Carl Sandburg

Hippopotamus personalities are easy to identify. Of impressive physical bulk, they invariably attempt to disguise their size and ponderous movements. Wallowing in loose-fitting clothes or large tent dresses, their uncomfortable dimensions are the result of a compulsive eating habit. This massive bulk triggers an overwhelming hunger, and a hippo's life is centered around food and its preparation.

Most hippos never really accept themselves for who they are. Traditionally viewed as jolly fat people, they have tried every diet on the market. The hippo's heart is a cauldron of powerfully conflicting feelings and the average hippo loves to wallow in this emotional stew. It's not that a hippo gets angry more often than others, it's just that its emotion tends to be magnified to an outrageous degree. In fact, the wild variety of hippo kills more people than any other predator in Africa, including the malevolent crocodile.

Hippos carry around a great deal of unrequited anger from hurtful experiences in their youth, and although they're generally peaceful they can be aggressive when provoked. Consequently, others avoid them, further adding to their sense of alienation.

Despite this occasionally destructive behavior, there is no bigger heart beating in the animal kingdom. Hippos are loving, warm, creatures who are concerned with the emotional well-being of everyone they know.

Food acts as a salve for hippos' loneliness and alienation, and with their intimate knowledge of it they are excellent chefs and food critics. Extraordinarily fond of children they often volunteer for baby-sitting duties, finding solace in the unjudgmental nature of youth. Hippos are the first to bake cookies for the local school.

For some reason the IRS hires hippo personalities in large numbers - probably because of their aggressive and intimidating demeanor when agitated. Like the elephant personality, a hippo has a wonderfully rich voice. The deep resonance produced by their bulk, together with their desire to hide from society, makes them perfect for the role of a phone receptionist, operator, or even a phone sex actor.

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Best Mates for a Hippo

All animal personalities relate to each other differently - some better than others! Here are the three best matches for a Hippo.


Aquatic roommates


You wash my back . . .




Dinner for two


Sensible and stable


Well matched


An understanding friendship


Long-term possibilities


Big game!

Choose any two animal personalities from the lists below and see how they match up.

Famous Hippo Personalities

Roseanne Barr

It's not just a weight thing. It's an attitude thing. And comedienne Roseanne Barr had both. Real big ones.

Shelley Winters

Shelley Winters started her acting career as a beautiful blonde in the same league as Marilyn Monroe. She ended it after packing on a few pounds, but never lost the effervescence and sense of humor that made her a quintessential hippo personality.

Julia Child

Hippo personalities are larger than life. And no TV personality was larger than Julia Child. Her gusto, humor and self-effacing demeanor made her a perennial star on cooking shows all over the world.

Comments from other Hippo personalities