One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several small South American opossums of the genus Marmosa, which lack a distinct marsupial pouch and often carry their young on their back.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Oliver Goldsmith (?1728–1774), author. From French marmose from marmosa, the name of the animal in Brazilian Portuguese or another language spoken in Brazil (reported as a Brazilian word in French (in form marmosa) and post-classical Latin (in form marmota) in A. Seba Rerum Naturalium Thesauri I. 34, 48).
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