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

  • n. Any of various arboreal rodents of the genus Sciurus and related genera of the family Sciuridae, having a long flexible bushy tail and including the fox squirrel, gray squirrel, and red squirrel. Also called tree squirrel.
  • n. Any of various other rodents of the family Sciuridae, as the ground squirrel or the flying squirrel.
  • n. The fur of one of these rodents.
  • transitive v. To hide or store: squirreled away her money.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the rodents of the family Sciuridae distinguished by their large bushy tail.
  • n. A person, usually a freezoner, who applies L. Ron Hubbard's technology in a heterodox manner.
  • v. To store in a secretive manner, to hide something for future use

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of numerous species of small rodents belonging to the genus Sciurus and several allied genera of the family Sciuridæ. Squirrels generally have a bushy tail, large erect ears, and strong hind legs. They are commonly arboreal in their habits, but many species live in burrows.
  • n. One of the small rollers of a carding machine which work with the large cylinder.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A rodent quadruped of the family Sciuridæ and genus Sciurus, originally and specifically Sciurus vulgaris of Europe.
  • n. In cotton manufacturing, one of the small card-covered rollers used with the large roller of a carding-machine. Also called urchin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a kind of arboreal rodent having a long bushy tail
  • n. the fur of a squirrel


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

Middle English squirel, from Anglo-Norman esquirel, from Vulgar Latin *scūriolus, diminutive of *scūrius, alteration of Latin sciūrus, from Greek skiouros : skiā, shadow + ourā, tail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French esquirel, escurel (whence French écureuil), from Vulgar Latin scuriolus, diminutive of scurius, variant of Latin sciurus, from Ancient Greek σκίουρος (skiouros). Displaced native Middle English aquerne, from Old English acweorna.



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  • I knew you'd find3 your squirrels3 list.

    January 24, 2013

  • Oh, thank goodness there's already a squirrel list. That was gonna drive me nuts. :-)

    January 24, 2013

  • There is a listing in swishcheese-and-leapfogs, perhaps.... that tailed to squirrels of all types AND squirrels--squirrels--squirrels by Ruzuzu

    January 24, 2013

  • "In cotton manufacturing, one of the small card-covered rollers used with the large roller of a carding-machine. Also called urchin."


    January 24, 2013

  • The Latvian word for squirrels is vavers--but I like the thought of calling them acorns.

    October 25, 2011

  • Interesting usage (about the animal) here.

    June 19, 2009

  • The etymology of this seems very straightforward: Greek skiourous from ski- "shadow" + ouros "tail". Yet Starostin's etymological database evidently regards the second element not as "tail" but as the zero grade of an Indo-European *(o)wer-, name of some kind of weasel-like animal, as found reduplicated in Latin viverra, and also in German Eichhörnchen "squirrel". That latter looks like a simple Eiche "oak" + Horn "horn" + diminutive, but the second part is known to be from the *wer- root with subsequent superficial assimilation to horn.

    In wish there was some indication of how much of Starostin is well-agreed and how much is his own speculation.

    March 8, 2009

  • A squirrel to some is a squirrel,

    To others, a squirrel's a squirl.

    Since freedom of speech is the birthright of each,

    I can only this fable unfurl:

    A virile young squirrel named Cyril,

    In an argument over a girl,

    Was lambasted from here to the Tyrol

    By a churl of a squirl named Earl.

    – Ogden Nash

    December 24, 2008

  • Fixed :-)

    October 12, 2008

  • Hmm... the link to[squirrel] gives a 404, not the bracketeering word. Off to bugs, then...?

    Edit: oh wait: it's a misuse of HTML entities that's doing that.

    October 9, 2008

  • I told you.

    this is creepy. It appeared three random words after squirrel. I'm not kidding.

    October 9, 2008