Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A large burrowing rodent (Marmota monax) of northern and eastern North America, having a short-legged, heavyset body and grizzled brownish fur.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In a lathe, a chuck adapted for holding a piece of wood to be operated on.
  • noun The commonest North American species of marmot, Arctomys monax, a large rodent quadruped of the family Sciuridæ.
  • noun The green woodpecker, Gecinus viridis. See cut under popinjay.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (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 ground hog.
  • noun (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. The yaffle, or green woodpecker.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Scientific name: Marmota monax.

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

  • noun reddish brown North American marmot

Etymologies

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

[By folk etymology, probably of New England Algonquian origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Cree ocêk, otchek ("fisher") or Ojibwe ojiig ("fisher, marten"), subsequently reapplied to the groundhog.

Examples

  • The name woodchuck comes from the Indian legend of "Wojak, the groundhog" considered by them to be their ancestral grandfather.

    WLNE - News

  • The name woodchuck comes from the Indian legend of "Wojak, the groundhog" considered by them to be their ancestral grandfather.

    WLNE - News

  • 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.

    Jodi Bettencourt: Groundhog Blog

  • 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.

    Jodi Bettencourt: Groundhog Blog

  • 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.

    Jodi Bettencourt: Groundhog Blog

  • 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.

    Jodi Bettencourt: Groundhog Blog

  • 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.

    Three Acres and Liberty

  • The woodchuck is the true serf among our animals; he belongs to the soil, and savors of it.

    Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers

  • The woodchuck is the true serf among our animals; he belongs to the soil, and savors of it.

    Birds and Bees, Sharp Eyes and Other Papers

  • The woodchuck is the true serf among our animals; he belongs to the soil, and savors of it.

    The Writings of John Burroughs — Volume 05: Pepacton

Comments

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  • Everyone knows: "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"

    But did you know "Why, a woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"

    June 26, 2007

  • If a woodchuck could chuck wood, a woodchuck would chuck wood, but a woodchuck can't chuck wood, so a woodchuck won't chuck wood.

    June 27, 2007

  • I prefer,

    A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could *chuck* if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

    June 27, 2007

  • you are right, seanahan--I missed a word.

    June 27, 2007

  • What if you have yourself an indolent woodchuck? Then how much wood would the woodchuck chuck?

    June 27, 2007

  • What if you had a caffeinated woodchuck? Or, dare I say it, a few caffeinatedcows? I bet they could chuck a lot of wood.

    June 27, 2007

  • He'd chuck all the wood that a woodchuck would, if a woodchuck would chuck wood!

    June 27, 2007

  • Caffeinated cows chucking wood. Now there's a visual. ;-)

    I think the indolent woodchuck would chuck far less than he could chuck, if said woodchuck could chuck wood, whereas the caffeinated woodchuck would chuck much more than he would normally chuck--if, of course, he could chuck wood.

    Damn, that was hard to type.

    June 27, 2007

  • How much woolly wood would Chuck Woolery chuck if Chuck Woolery was a woolly wood-chucking woodchuck?

    June 27, 2007

  • Moo!

    June 27, 2007