meerkat


meerkat

noun

  1. suricate.

noun

  1. any of several South African mongooses, esp Suricata suricatta (slender-tailed meerkat or suricate), which has a lemur-like face and four-toed feet

n.late 15c., “monkey,” from Dutch meerkat “monkey” (related to Old High German mericazza), apparently from meer “lake” + kat “cat.” But cf. Hindi markat, Sanskrit markata “ape,” which might serve as a source of a Teutonic folk-etymology, even though the word was in Germanic before any known direct contact with India. First applied to the small South African mammals in 1801.

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