Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mammal (Proteles cristatus) native to southern and eastern Africa that resembles the hyena, has gray fur with black stripes, and feeds mainly on termites and insect larvae.

Etymologies

Afrikaans : aarde, earth (from Middle Dutch aerde; see er-2 in Indo-European roots) + wolf, wolf (from Middle Dutch; see wl̥kwo- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Afrikaans aarde ("earth"), from Middle Dutch aerde + Afrikaans wolf ("wolf"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I started with aardvark, calling it a burrowing insectivorous mammal, then aardwolf, a hyena-like mammal, making my way to acclimate—to accustom or become accustomed to new surroundings or circumstances.

    The Beautiful Miscellaneous

  • Coming so soon after the euphoria in Washington over the toppling of Saddam, the August aardwolf seemed to many within the Bush administration to be far too negative.

    State of War

  • As of early November 2003, the aardwolf explained, the insurgency in central and northern Iraq was gaining momentum and beginning to tip the balance against the Americans.

    State of War

  • Senior U.S. military officers in Baghdad bitterly complained that they had been “blindsided” by the aardwolf, and tensions grew between the CIA and the Pentagon.

    State of War

  • Top CIA officials initially praised the November aardwolf, and one told the Baghdad station chief that it was the best aardwolf he had ever read.

    State of War

  • “When I read that November aardwolf,” said a CIA official who knew the Baghdad station chief, “I thought that he was committing career suicide.”

    State of War

  • The aardwolf clearly caught the attention of the White House and Pentagon.

    State of War

  • And in late 2004, when a new CIA station chief—the successor to the officer pulled in December 2003—wrote another aardwolf reporting on the deadly conditions in Iraq, his political allegiances were quickly questioned by the White House, CIA officials later learned.

    State of War

  • The August aardwolf said that the UN bombing was part of a strategy by a new and bold insurgency to discredit and isolate the U.S.-led coalition, and warned that insurgents and terrorists had the capability to carry many more attacks against “soft targets.”

    State of War

  • After his aardwolf circulated in Washington, then–U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte heard from an official at the National Security Council.

    State of War

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Comments

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  • Sionnach, please add aardcucumber if you haven't already.
    Thanks,
    Ethel.

    March 6, 2008

  • Aardcucumbers must be cute, though. One can only imagine.

    But still not as cute as an ambulatory watermelon.

    March 5, 2008

  • Sionnach, I'm not sure I even wanna know what you mean by aardcucumber...

    March 5, 2008

  • What a delightful portrait of domestic bliss. These charming reformed carnivores sound like true aardapples of the earth. Or maybe I mean aardcucumbers:
    ethel the quantity-surveying aardvark goes for a nosh

    Not as cute as those baby watermelon tapirs though.

    March 5, 2008

  • "The most solitary of all the spotted hyena’s relatives is the aardwolf. Instead of hunting or scavenging meat, they have shifted to a diet of termites. A male and female aardwolf will live as a monogamous pair, caring for their young and defending their termite mounds from intruders." - The New York Times, March 4, 2008

    March 5, 2008