packrat

pack rat

noun
1.
Also called trade rat, wood rat. a large, bushy-tailed rodent, Neotoma cinerea, of North America, noted for carrying off small articles to store in its nest.
2.
Informal. a person who saves things that are not needed or used but that may have personal or other value.
3.
Informal. an old prospector or guide.
Also, packrat.


Origin:
1840–50

Dictionary.com Unabridged

pack-rat

[pak-rat]
verb (used with object), pack-ratted, pack-ratting. Informal.
to save in the manner of a pack rat: I’m looking through the stuff my grandpa pack-ratted away in the attic.
Also, packrat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
pack rat
 
n
Also called: wood rat any rat of the genus Neotoma, of W North America, having a long tail that is furry in some species: family Cricetidae

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pack-rat
common name for the N.Amer. bushytailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea) is attested from 1885, from pack (v.), from the rodent's habit of dragging objects off to their holes. Used figuratively or allusively of persons who won't discard anything from c.1850, which means either the
rat's name is older than that or the human sense is the original one.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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