American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A common burrowing rodent (Marmota monax) of northern and eastern North America, having a short-legged, heavy-set body and grizzled brownish fur. Also called groundhog; also called regionally whistle pig.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The commonest North American species of marmot, Arctomys monax, a large rodent quadruped of the family Sciuridæ. It is from 15 to 18 inches long, of very stout, heavy form, with brownish and grayish tints above, and reddish-brown below. It feeds on vegetables of many kinds, burrows in the ground, and hibernates in winter. Also called
ground-hogand chuck. See cut under Arctomys.
- n. The green woodpecker, Gecinus viridis. See cut under popinjay.
- n. In a lathe, a chuck adapted for holding a piece of wood to be operated on.
- n. A rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Scientific name: Marmota monax.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A common large North American marmot (Arctomys monax). It is usually reddish brown, more or less grizzled with gray. It makes extensive burrows, and is often injurious to growing crops. Called also
- n. (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. The yaffle, or green woodpecker.
- n. reddish brown North American marmot
- From Cree ocêk, otchek ("fisher") or Ojibwe ojiig ("fisher, marten"), subsequently reapplied to the groundhog. (Wiktionary)
- By folk etymology, probably of New England Algonquian origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The name woodchuck comes from the Indian legend of "Wojak, the groundhog" considered by them to be their ancestral grandfather.”
“Before we get started, allow me to set the record straight: A groundhog is also known as a woodchuck, but it's not a beaver.”
“The woodchuck is a nuisance to the farmer, covering his field with loads of subsoil from the burrow and then eating the tender sprouts; and the farmer does not know enough to eat his tender corpse, but he is good to eat.”
“The woodchuck is the true serf among our animals; he belongs to the soil, and savors of it.”
“The build of this animal is much like that of the woodchuck, that is, heavy and pouchy.”
“This evening a neighbour's dog catches an animal called a woodchuck somewhat resembling a beaver; it is considered good food and indeed is to be prepared for dinner.”
“For years - more than a century, in the case of Punxsutawney Phil - North American communities have deployed the irrepressibly cute Marmota monax, otherwise known as a woodchuck, to predict, allegedly, the arrival of spring.”
“A typical groundhog, also called a woodchuck or by its scientific name Marmota monax, weighs some 9.5 pounds with a body length reaching about 20 inches, at least those groundhogs living in Pennsylvania.”
“A typical groundhog, also called a woodchuck or by its scientific name”
“Now the groundhog (also known as the woodchuck, land beaver or whistlepig) is from the genus Marmota (which also includes other varieties of marmots).”
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