One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An African genus of herbivorous vole-like rodents of the family Muridae which inhabit damp grassy areas and are characterized by a groove in each incisor tooth; a rodent of this genus (also called swamp rat, vlei rat).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Henry McMurtrie (1793–1865). From scientific Latin Otomys, genus name from oto- + ancient Greek μῦς mouse.
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