|—n , pl -bits, -bit|
|1.||any of various common gregarious burrowing leporid mammals, esp Oryctolagus cuniculus of Europe and North Africa and the cottontail of America. They are closely related and similar to hares but are smaller and have shorter ears|
|2.||the fur of such an animal|
|3.||informal (Brit) a novice or poor performer at a game or sport|
|4.||(intr) to hunt or shoot rabbits|
|5.||informal (Brit) (intr|
|[(sense 5) C20: from rhyming slang rabbit and pork talk]|
"Zoologically speaking, there are no native rabbits in the United States; they are all hares. But the early colonists, for some unknown reason, dropped the word hare out of their vocabulary, and it is rarely heard in American speech to this day. When it appears it is almost always applied to the so-called Belgian hare, which, curiously enough, is not a hare at all, but a true rabbit." [H.L. Mencken]Rabbit punch "chop on the back of the neck" so called from resemblance to a gamekeeper's method of dispatching an injured rabbit. Rabbit's foot "good luck charm" first attested 1879, in U.S. Southern black culture. Pulling rabbits from a hat as a conjurer's trick is first recorded 1877.