kangaroolike

kangaroo

[kang-guh-roo]
noun, plural kangaroos (especially collectively) kangaroo.
any herbivorous marsupial of the family Macropodidae, of Australia and adjacent islands, having a small head, short forelimbs, powerful hind legs used for leaping, and a long, thick tail: several species are threatened or endangered.

Origin:
1760–70; < Guugu Yimidhirr (Australian Aboriginal language spoken around Cooktown, N Queensland) gaŋ-urru large black or gray species of kangaroo

kangaroolike, adjective
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World English Dictionary
kangaroo (ˌkæŋɡəˈruː)
 
n , pl -roos
1.  rat kangaroo See also tree kangaroo any large herbivorous marsupial of the genus Macropus and related genera, of Australia and New Guinea, having large powerful hind legs, used for leaping, and a long thick tail: family Macropodidae
2.  (usually plural) stock exchange an Australian share, esp in mining, land, or a tobacco company
 
vb , -roos, -roos, -rooing, -rooed
3.  informal (of a car) to move forward or to cause (a car) to move forward with short sudden jerks, as a result of improper use of the clutch
 
[C18: probably from a native Australian language]
 
kanga'roo-like
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

kangaroo
1770, used by Capt. Cook and botanist Joseph Banks, supposedly an aborigine word from northeast Queensland, Australia, usually said to be unknown now in any native language. However, according to Australian linguist R.M.W. Dixon ("The Languages of Australia," Cambridge, 1980), the word probably is from
Guugu Yimidhirr (Endeavour River-area Aborigine language) /gaNurru/ "large black kangaroo."
"In 1898 the pioneer ethnologist W.E. Roth wrote a letter to the Australasian pointing out that gang-oo-roo did mean 'kangaroo' in Guugu Yimidhirr, but this newspaper correspondence went unnoticed by lexicographers. Finally the observations of Cook and Roth were confirmed when in 1972 the anthropologist John Haviland began intensive study of Guugu Yimidhirr and again recorded /gaNurru/." [Dixon]
Kangaroo court is Amer.Eng., first recorded 1853 in a Texas context (also mustang court), from notion of proceeding by leaps.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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