One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: an anole (lizard). Later also (in form "Anolis"): a genus of lizards that comprises the anoles (family Polychrotidae or Iguanidae).
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Phillips's New World of Words. From French anolis, reinterpretation of the plural form anolis as a Latinate singular. In later use after scientific Latin Anolis, genus name (1802; earlier in post-classical Latin as anolis, apparently ablative plural; from French).
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