pangolin

pangolin

[pang-guh-lin, pang-goh-]
noun
any mammal of the order Pholidota, of Africa and tropical Asia, having a covering of broad, overlapping, horny scales and feeding on ants and termites.
Also called scaly anteater.


Origin:
1765–75; < Malay pengguling (dial. or bazaar Malay name for the animal) one who rolls up, equivalent to peng- agentive prefix + guling roll up or around; so called from its habit of curling into a ball when threatened

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pangolin (pæŋˈɡəʊlɪn)
 
n
Also called: scaly anteater any mammal of the order Pholidota found in tropical Africa, S Asia, and Indonesia, having a body covered with overlapping horny scales and a long snout specialized for feeding on ants and termites
 
[C18: from Malay peng-gōling, from gōling to roll over; from its ability to roll into a ball]

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

pangolin
1774, "scaly toothless mammal of Java," from Malay peng-goling "roller," from its habit of curling into a ball; from peng- (denominative prefix) + goling "to roll." Later extended to related species in Asia and Africa.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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