One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small deerlike mammal with small tusks, typically nocturnal and found in the tropical rainforests of Africa and southern Asia.
Family Tragulidae: genera Tragulus (three Asian species) and Hyemoschus (one African species)Also called mouse deer
- ‘Ecologically, they range from forest dwellers, such as wild pigs and chevrotains, to dominant large herbivores on grasslands.’
- ‘In the Duala headdresses, the animal is an antelope, perhaps the African water chevrotain that was once common in the Delta and the Wouri estuary.’
- ‘The parallel antelope masking forms of the Ijebu Agbo society are associated with a water spirit of Ijo derivation based on the African water chevrotain.’
Late 18th century: from French, diminutive of Old French chevrot, diminutive of chèvre ‘goat’.
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