One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A Buddhist monk or priest.
- ‘The most characteristic part of the Siamese social system is the position of the priesthood, commonly called the talapoins.’
- ‘They were also amazed at the large numbers of monks, or talapoins in the curious parlance of the time; even today substantial numbers of males join the monkhood at least for a short period of time.’
- ‘Many of the priests (talapoins) sat upon the rafts and wharves before their temples.’
2A small West African monkey that lives in large groups near watercourses and in swamp forest.
Miopithecus talapoin, family Cercopithecidae
- ‘Some species breed readily in captivity, as do rhesus; others, such as talapoins, are more difficult.’
- ‘To study the talapoins, he went to a village in southeast Cameroon and asked two Baka pygmies to take him into the rainforest.’
- ‘Predators of talapoin monkeys include leopards, golden cats, genets, raptors, large snakes, and Nile monitors.’
- ‘This Pourquoi tale of the Mpongwe explains why talapoins live in trees.’
- ‘Patas, talapoins, and mangabeys are also found in captivity with some frequency, and patas are also called hussar, military, or mustached monkeys by some exhibitors.’
Late 16th century: from Portuguese talapão, from Mon tala pói, literally ‘lord of merit’, used as a respectful title for a Buddhist monk.
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