One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A limbless snakelike lizard of the genus Ophisaurus (formerly Ophiosaurus) (family Anguidae) or a related form; a glass lizard or glass ‘snake’.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Century Dictionary. From scientific Latin Ophisaurus, genus name from ancient Greek ὄϕις serpent + ancient Greek σαῦρος lizard. Earliest in form ophiosaur, after Ophiosaurus, former genus name, alteration of Ophisaurus. Compare French ophisaure (Daudin, 1803).
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