One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The droppings of an otter.‘this means finding their droppings or spraint’‘the spraints of an otter’
- ‘A fresh one easily distinguished from a mink scat by the scent - otter spraint smells pleasantly musky or fishy.’
- ‘He discovered the otter droppings - or spraint, to use the technical term - while checking the site destined to become Grays Wharf, a riverside office development.’
- ‘Today, however, it is otters that place their spraints to claim this territory as their own.’
Late Middle English: from Old French espreintes, from espraindre ‘squeeze out’, based on Latin exprimere ‘to express’.
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