Master lamp, partly also only lamp, is the name of the hare in the fable. Consequently, the name is a fabier, such as Isegrim for the wolf, Grimbart for the badger or Adebar for the stork. Masterfetas in the fable are attributed to certain human character traits: he usually appears to be very anxious and cautious, but is sometimes preposterous and exuberant. What is decisive is that these characteristics do not change in the course of the narrative: Masterlamp does not develop, which is why readers and listeners can already see beforehand how they will behave in fables, fairy tales and legends.
The term is a short form of the name Lamprecht, as the hare was originally called in the fable. For example, all the animals in the epic Reineke Fuchs, written in verse and prose, whose origins lie in the European Middle Ages (cf. Literaturepochen), carry male first names or even forms of being of these. Thus, the bear is described as master Petz, Petz is considered a form of Bernhard, and the fox, which is called Reineke, listens to the north-German equivalent of the first name Reinhard, while the lamp represents the shortening of the name Lamprecht. The pimpled cat, illustration by Carl Offterdinger
Master lamp in the hunter’s language
In the specialist jargon of hunters, the huntspeech, is not called the hare itself, but a part of its coat as a lamp: namely the bright or even white underside of its tail. This pattern is seen especially when the hare escapes from the viewer.
If the hare is on the run, he stretches his tail upwards and thus presents the white color, which is called a lamp. However, since the hare bounces and also catches hooks when he escapes, this white coloration is not constant, but only shows up briefly. This “light-up” can partly also be responsible for the fact that the designation lamp has established itself, although the noun here is not the animal, but the coat describes.
This “light up” may be confusing to a possible persecutor because the bright focus point needs to be re-ordered, which can sometimes make a few seconds or seconds of fractions in order to flee successfully. This thesis is based on the evolutionary biologist Dirk Semmann from the University of Göttingen (→ Source).
Examples from the literature
There are many documents for the use of the name Meister Lampe. Here are some examples: a fairytale by Nicolas Gredt, a poem by Richard Fedor Leopold Dehmel, a fable by Jean de La Fontaine, and the extract from a novel by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach.