One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of various fruit bats constituting the genus Rousettus (family Pteropodidae); especially R. aegyptiacus, which occurs widely from Africa to South Asia.
2A cat shark of the family Scyliorhinidae; especially the lesser spotted dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula.
3Usually with capital initial. A dry white wine produced from Roussette grapes (also called Altesse grapes) grown in the Savoy wine region of eastern France.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in The Universal Magazine. From French roussette kind of cat shark, kind of fruit bat endemic to Madagascar, variety of white grape grown in Savoy, the wine produced from this grape variety, uses as noun of feminine of Middle French rοusset, russet reddish. The animals and the grape variety are so called on account of their reddish colour.
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