One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A heavily built, gregarious, burrowing rodent of both Eurasia and North America, typically living in mountainous country.
Genus Marmota, family Sciuridae: several species
- ‘Some of these destructive species include beavers, muskrats, elk, deer, voles, marmots, prairie dogs and geese.’
- ‘The Rodentia also includes beavers, muskrats, porcupines, woodchucks, chipmunks, squirrels, prairie dogs, marmots, chinchillas, voles, lemmings, and many others.’
- ‘The alpine marmot is a large ground-dwelling squirrel living in mountain open meadows, preferentially exposed to south.’
- ‘Trails starting right outside the door head up to high ridges with views stretching dozens of miles - sightings of mountain goats and marmots are common.’
- ‘Stop along this byway to hike across broad plateaus and to admire Rocky Mountain goats, moose, black bears, grizzly bears, marmots, and mule deer.’
Early 17th century: from French marmotte, probably via Romansh murmont from late Latin mus montanus ‘mountain mouse’.
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