One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A kind of predatory ant which is said to have been introduced into Jamaica to control pests in sugar cane plantations, and later to have become a pest itself.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Bryan Edwards (1743–1800), planter and politician. Apparently from the name of Thomas Raffle or Raffles, a planter who supposedly introduced this ant to Jamaica from Cuba in 1762 + ant.
raffle ant/ˈrafl ˌant/
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