Definitions

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. The yaffle, or green woodpecker.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The commonest North American species of marmot, Arctomys monax, a large rodent quadruped of the family Sciuridæ.
  • 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.

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

  • n. reddish brown North American marmot

Etymologies

By folk etymology, probably of New England Algonquian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Cree ocêk, otchek ("fisher") or Ojibwe ojiig ("fisher, marten"), subsequently reapplied to the groundhog. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • 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

  • 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.

    Birds and Bees, Sharp Eyes and Other Papers

  • The build of this animal is much like that of the woodchuck, that is, heavy and pouchy.

    In the Catskills Selections from the Writings of John Burroughs

  • 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.

    A Journey to America in 1834

  • 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.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • 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.

    FOXNews.com

  • A typical groundhog, also called a woodchuck or by its scientific name

    Livescience.com

  • Now the groundhog (also known as the woodchuck, land beaver or whistlepig) is from the genus Marmota (which also includes other varieties of marmots).

    Balashon - Hebrew Language Detective

Comments

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  • Thanks, oroboros.

    July 2, 2007

  • See comments under "Tongue Twisters"

    July 2, 2007

  • Bunch of mongrels, they were.

    June 30, 2007

  • Happened once. There was a rusty nail in one of the boards that the Mongols did board, and the one of the Mongol horde got tetanus. The mut was okay.

    June 30, 2007

  • Do bored Mongols board the Mongol board horde when hording gets boring and their mongrels are floored?

    June 30, 2007

  • I assume the Mongol hordes would hoard as many boards as the Mongol hordes could hoard, if the Mongols did get bored.

    June 29, 2007

  • I don't know, but do you know how many boards the Mongols hoard if the Mongol hordes get bored?

    June 29, 2007

  • Moo!

    June 27, 2007

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

    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

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

    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

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

    June 27, 2007

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

    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

  • 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

  • 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