1765-75; < Malaypengguling (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
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 Also called scaly anteater
C18: from Malay peng-gōling, from gōling to roll over; from its ability to roll into a ball
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.