One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A badger-like mammal with a white or grey back and black underparts, native to Africa and Asia. In Africa it is attracted by the honeyguide bird to bee nests, which it breaks open to gain access to the grubs and honey.
Mellivora capensis, family MustelidaeAlso called honey badger
- ‘Honey badgers, or ratels, can weigh up to 12 kilograms.’
Late 18th century: from Afrikaans, of unknown ultimate origin.
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