One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The three-toed sloth.
- ‘Three-toed sloths are also known as ai by the Guarani people of South America.’
- ‘There are three-toed sloths, among which is the ai, and the two-toed sloths, among which is the unau.’
- ‘The people of these areas call the 3-toed sloth "ai" after its shrill cry("ai-ai!").’
- ‘This was an ai or three-toed sloth. It was in the possession of a gentleman, who was collecting curiosities.’
- ‘The ai has a small head, tiny eyes and ears, and a small tail hidden in its fur.’
Early 17th century: from Tupi, imitative of its cry.
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