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1838, "South American fox-wolf," from Spanish zorro, masc. of zorra "fox," from Basque azaria "fox." The comic book hero, a variation on the Robin Hood theme set in old Spanish California, was created 1919 by U.S. writer Johnston McCulley (1883-1958).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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  • In most parts where the Spanish language is spoken, it is known as the “zorro negro,” or black fox.

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • That something was our good friend Reynard—zorro they style him out here—whose proverbial cunning exceeds all other cunnings.

    Unexplored Spain Abel Chapman
  • I might have fancied so, had I not heard a sharp crack from behind, and seen that the arm of El zorro was broken by a shot!

    The War Trail Mayne Reid

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