One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small insectivorous Old World bat with jerky, erratic flight.
Genus Pipistrellus, family Vespertilionidae: numerous species, including P. pipistrellus, which is the commonest bat in Eurasia
- ‘Western pipistrelles and Mexican free-tailed bats have staked their own claim on the chutes and shafts.’
- ‘About half the bats at St Hilda's are natterer's alongside brown long-eared bats and two types of pipistrelle.’
- ‘The soprano is so-called because its echo-locater, or ultra-sonic voice, is higher pitched than that of its fellow pipistrelle.’
- ‘In the United Kingdom, pipistrelles and long eared bats have to date not been found to harbour European bat lyssaviruses.’
- ‘Children at the upper school at East Kennett found a small pipistrelle bat clinging low on the wall on a rainy day in April.’
- ‘The jerky flight of the pipistrelle gave rise to the ancient name for bats - the flittermouse.’
Late 18th century: from French, from Italian pipistrello, from Latin vespertilio(n-) ‘bat’, from vesper ‘evening’.
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