One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Fur resembling ermine but with white spots on a black ground.
- ‘Variations are ermines, being white spots on a black field, and erminites which are the same as ermines but with the addition of a red hair on each side of the black.’
- ‘A field of ermines (or counter-ermine) is sable with argent spots.’
Mid 16th century: perhaps from Old French hermines, plural of herminet, diminutive of hermine ‘ermine’.
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