desert-rat

desert rat

noun
1.
any of various small rodents, as the kangaroo rat, inhabiting arid regions.
2.
Chiefly Western U.S. one who lives in the desert, especially in order to prospect for gold or other valuable minerals.
3.
Informal. a soldier fighting in the N African desert in World War II, especially a British soldier.

Origin:
1905–10, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
desert rat
 
n
1.  a jerboa, Jaculus orientalis, inhabiting the deserts of N Africa
2.  informal (Brit) a soldier who served in North Africa with the British 7th Armoured Division in 1941--42

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