One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A dog of a toy breed with ears suggesting the form of a butterfly.
- ‘Papillons are supposed to be absolutely wonderful companion dogs: friendly, smart, very driven to be helpful and interact with people.’
- ‘The Papillon is sometimes called the "butterfly dog" because the ears look like butterfly wings. He always has an alert and intelligent expression.’
- ‘The dogs - a mongrel, a Labrador, a papillon and three cocker spaniels - identified their chosen sample by lying down next to it.’
Early 20th century: from French, literally ‘butterfly’, from Latin papilio(n-).
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