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.’
- ‘Many of the priests (talapoins) sat upon the rafts and wharves before their temples.’
- ‘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.’
2A small West African monkey that lives in large groups near watercourses and in swamp forest.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Some species breed readily in captivity, as do rhesus; others, such as talapoins, are more difficult.’
- ‘This Pourquoi tale of the Mpongwe explains why talapoins live in trees.’
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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