Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Daily Hump: Chipmunk

The chipmunk is a fairly common squirrel-like rodent that inhabitats the woodlands and backyards of North America and northeastern Asia dining on grain, nuts, birds' eggs, fungi, worms, and insects. Yum. As Wikipedia reports,
The name [chipmunk] may have originally been spelled "chitmunk" (from the Odawa word jidmoonh, meaning "red squirrel")...However, the earliest form cited in the Oxford English Dictionary (from 1842) is "chipmonk". Other early forms include "chipmuck" and "chipminck", and in the 1830s they were also referred to as "chip squirrels", possibly in reference to the sound they make.
The Odawa (also spelled Ottawa) are a First Nations tribe that lived along the northern shores of Lake Huron (they're now scattered around Michigan, Ontario and, unexpectedly, Oklahoma) whose language belongs to the Ojibwa family. The word jidmoonh (also sometimes written as ajidmoonh) literally translates to "one who descends trees headlong", which you'll know is pretty poignant if you've spent any time observing these creatures (guilty).

It's also been assumed that the name chipmunk was influenced by the English words chip and mink (humorously described by a quote in the Online Etymology Dictionary as "a stinking animal in Finland").

Chipmunks [CuteOverload]

Labels: , ,

:: posted by David, 8:22 AM


I knew, JUST KNEW!, that you were a CO fan!
Blogger Rachel, at 12:53 PM  

Add a comment