One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A wild relative of the llama, inhabiting mountainous regions of South America and valued for its fine silky wool.
Vicugna vicugna, family Camelidae
- ‘Franklin began his foray into the camelid world through his studies of vicuñas and guanacos of South America two decades ago.’
- 1.1mass noun Cloth made from the wool of the vicuña or an imitation of it.
- ‘You're already getting the suit and tie, so you might as well go all the way and purchase a made-to-measure Brioni vicuña wool overcoat.’
- ‘The theatre is a perfect symbol of Buenos Aires: flamboyant and decaying, a little melancholy, full of men in vicuña coats and society ladies in diamonds that might just, these days, be paste.’
- ‘Ike won a second term and watched in dismay as his chief of staff was forced to resign over a vicuña coat.’
- ‘A custom-made vicuña wool Brioni jacket can cost up to $25,000.’
- ‘Loro Piana uses only pure cashmere or precious vicuña fibers (a highly-valued yarn known to the Incas as ‘fiber of the Gods‘) in its collection.’
Early 17th century: from Spanish, from Quechua.
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