Grimbart is the badger in the fable or in fairy tales and legends. As a result, a fabier, such as Isegrim for the wolf, masquerade for the hare, or Adebar for the stork, conceals itself behind the name. Grimbart is attributed to human character in the fable: he is thoughtful and calm. What is essential is that these characteristics do not change in the course of such a narrative: Grimbart does not develop, so it is foreseeable for the reader and listener how he will behave in principle.
The term is, however, not used exclusively for the animal in the fable – as it is quite common with other felted animals – but also as a popular term for the badger, and is sometimes used in the specialist jargon of hunters, that is, the hunter’s language. The name Meistergrimbart is sometimes used. The term goes back to the Germanic fabel tradition. It is found in notes from the magazine Die Gartenlaube
Master Grimbart in Need, in: The Garden Leaves (1894)
The above picture is taken from the magazine Die Gartenlaube from the year 1894. This magazine is the first German mass newspaper and was the first magazine to reach a print run of around 382,000 in 1876. The picture is in the original with the signature Master Grimbart in need and comes from Ludwig Beckmann. There are, of course, other examples of use in the literature.
Example from the literature
A well-known example can be found in Reineke Fuchs, an epic in twelve songs by the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, for this work, which appeared in 1794, on the material of the well-known verse epic Reynke de vos, popular in the Middle Ages (see also Literaturepochen). In the following, the eighth song from Goethe’s adaptation, with the fox on his way to the king, and his kinsman the badger.