One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: the narwhal, Monodon monoceros. Now (in form Monodon): the monotypic genus (family Monodontidae) that comprises the narwhal.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in John Hill (bap. 1714, d. 1775), physician and actor. From scientific Latin monodon from mono- + -odon, after ancient Greek μονοδοντ-, μονόδους having one tooth.
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