One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A solitary burrowing rodent with a short tail and large cheek pouches for carrying food, native to Europe and northern Asia.
Subfamily Cricetinae, family Muridae: several genera and species, in particular the golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), often kept as a pet or laboratory animal, and the common hamster (Cricetus cricetus)
- ‘In case you ever have a problem identifying rodents again, hamsters are cute and stuff food into their cheeks.’
- ‘I adored my quota of kittens, puppies, guinea pigs, hamsters and polecats, but infant pigs have extra loveability.’
- ‘To me, they all look like small, furry, kind of cute-looking little things - like hamsters, gerbils, shrews and mice.’
- ‘Pregnant women should avoid contact with hamsters or other rodents.’
- ‘At school, our classroom had a small rodent zoo consisting of two rabbits, three hamsters, a litter of baby gerbils and a guinea pig.’
- ‘We recycle everything, usually through our neighbours' kids' rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs.’
- ‘Also, gerbils and hamsters are better left to be owned by friends, where we can go over and visit them and hold them and go home and never have to clean a cage.’
- ‘Animal experiments on rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, monkeys, and baboons revealed no link between glass fibers and cancer.’
- ‘Akina removed her sunglasses as she entered the store, smiling when she saw small gerbils and hamsters.’
- ‘So from my earliest childhood there was a bond created between myself and my animals, which were little pets like hamsters and gerbils.’
- ‘If you've got chinchillas or hamsters or any other small furry creatures, there is more than a trip to the microwave in store for them when it comes to playtime.’
- ‘Experiments revealed the same cells that have also been discovered in rats, gophers, gerbils, mice, and hamsters.’
- ‘A former voluntary worker says pythons there fed on pet rabbits, hamsters and gerbils that had been entrusted to the zoo's care.’
- ‘Gerbils and hamsters can bite and even the most innocent-looking rabbits can't be trusted but the Talking Bird Class was the real challenge.’
- ‘Dogs, cats, hamsters, a pet rat, goldfish, frogs and guinea pigs weren't enough for us.’
- ‘Penicillin is a very useful drug for humans but kills guinea pigs and hamsters.’
- ‘Donkeys, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, parrots and newts are most likely to get a present.’
- ‘People are invited to bring along pets - from hamsters and guinea pigs to cats and dogs - to take part in the pet show, a new event for this year.’
- ‘Pet hamsters and gerbils are a familiar sight at many schools but Old Palace has decided to go one better and adopt a llama.’
- ‘Most people are familiar with mice, rats, hamsters, and guinea pigs, which are commonly kept as pets.’
Early 17th century: from German, from Old High German hamustro ‘corn weevil’.
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