One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The kinkajou, Potus flavus (family Procyonidae), of tropical America.
2Either of two Asian bears, the sloth bear, Melursus ursinus, and the sun bear, Helarctos malayanus.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Edward Griffith (1790–1858), naturalist. From honey + bear, so called on account of the enthusiasm with which these animals feed on honey.
honey bear/ˈhʌnɪ bɛː/
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