One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A harmless fast-moving North American snake, whose scales form a pattern said to resemble a braided whip.
Masticophis flagellum, family Colubridae
- ‘The habitat of the coachwhip includes deserts, grasslands, prairies, woodlands, and open areas.’
- ‘The race of the coachwhip that occurs in Utah, the red racer, is limited to the southwestern corner of the state.’
- ‘A highly irritated western coachwhip snake was coiled in the grass.’
- ‘I spent a year down in Collins back in the early 1990s and was terrorized by one of those giant coachwhip snakes.’
- ‘Rattlesnakes eat mostly rodents, but coachwhip snakes will climb trees or cactus to eat eggs from bird nests.’
- ‘It is called a ‘coachwhip’ because the large scales on its long, slowly tapering tail, give it the appearance of a braided bullwhip.’
- ‘The coachwhip is a nervous snake and may retreat into rocks or rodent burrows when threatened, but it is just as likely to approach an intruder hissing, striking, and possibly shaking its tail; it will bite if handled.’
- ‘One spring day he was showing a group of school teachers through the wildlife reserve, when a seven-foot-long coachwhip snake came zipping across the path in front of the group.’
2Australian The whipbird.
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