One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A flying fox found in SE Asia and Indonesia.
Genus Pteropus, family Pteropodidae, in particular the large flying fox (P. vampyrus)
- ‘It is said that when a man dies, the god Kala comes flying down at night on a kalong to take the man's soul and disappears with it.’
- ‘While eating a large fruit picked from a tree, the kalong takes up a position which, although certainly very comfortable, appears to us as very clumsy.’
Early 19th century: from Javanese.
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