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porcupine

[pawr-kyuh-pahyn] /ˈpɔr kyəˌpaɪn/
noun
1.
any of several rodents covered with stiff, sharp, erectile spines or quills, as Erethizon dorsatum of North America.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English porcupyne, variant of porcapyne; replacing porke despyne < Middle French porc d'espine thorny pig. See pork, spine
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for porcupines

porcupine

/ˈpɔːkjʊˌpaɪn/
noun
1.
any of various large hystricomorph rodents of the families Hystricidae, of Africa, Indonesia, S Europe, and S Asia, and Erethizontidae, of the New World. All species have a body covering of protective spines or quills
Derived Forms
porcupinish, adjective
porcupiny, adjective
Word Origin
C14 porc despyne pig with spines, from Old French porc espin; see pork, spine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for porcupines

porcupine

n.

c.1400, porke despyne, from Old French porc-espin (early 13c., Modern French porc-épic), literally "spiny pig," from Latin porcus "hog" + spina "thorn, spine" (see spike (n.1)). The word had many forms in Middle English and early Modern English, including portepyn, porkpen, porkenpick, porpoynt, and Shakespeare's porpentine (in "Hamlet").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for porcupines

porcupine

noun

A frayed wire rope (WWII Navy)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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