One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small Central and South American monkey with a silky coat and a long nonprehensile tail.
Family Callitrichidae (or Callithricidae): genus Callithrix (three species), and the pygmy marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea)
- ‘Several birds of paradise flew across from tree to tree, watched on by colourful howler monkeys and marmosets.’
- ‘Every year more than 10,000 non-human primates, including baboons, owl monkeys rhesus macaques and marmosets are transported by commercial airlines to research labs.’
- ‘Rare uakari monkeys, marmosets and umbrella birds move through the lush canopy foraging for food.’
- ‘Human cold sores, he said, can kill smaller monkeys like marmosets and tamarins.’
- ‘The male carries, feeds, and grooms the infants - with help from their older siblings - and may even act as a midwife during birth, grooming and licking the newborn marmosets.’
Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘grotesque figure’): from Old French marmouset ‘grotesque image’, of unknown ultimate origin.
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