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Monday, 25 February 2013


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Your word for today is: xoloitzcuintli, n.

[‘The Mexican hairless dog. Cf. xolo n.’]

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌʃəʊləʊɪtsˈkwɪntli/,  U.S. /ˌʃoʊloʊˌɪtsˈkwɪntli/
Forms:  17– xoloitzcuintli,   20– xoloitzcuintle
Etymology: <  Nahuatl xōlōitzcuīntli (recorded in a Latin context in F. Hernández Rerum Medicarum Thes. (1651) 479), apparently <  xōlō-xōlōtl, of uncertain sense and etymology, perhaps ‘page, male servant’ + itzcuīntli particular kind of dog.
Compare Spanish xoloitzcuintli (1780; now also xoloitzcuintle).
  The Mexican hairless dog. Cf. xolo n.
There was much early confusion as to which animal was referred to by Hernández in 1651 (see etymology); as the name of a breed of dog, rare before the mid 20th cent.
1780  W. Smellie tr. G. Buffon Nat. Hist. VIII. 264 The proof is still farther corroborated by the circumstance of this animal's having no American name: Fernandes gives it the borrowed one of Xoloitzcuintli, which is the name of the Mexican wolf.
1850  E. C. Otté  & H. G. Bohn tr. A. von Humboldt Views of Nature 87 Among the animals indigenous to Mexico, there was a very large, totally hairless, and dog-like wolf, named Xoloitzcuintli.
1929 Jrnl. Mammalogy 10 165 The name Canis mexicanus Linnaeus, based on the ‘Xoloitzcuintli’ of Hernandez.., has been shown by Glover M. apply to the domesticated Mexican ‘hairless’ dog.
1961 Man 61 77/1 There [is]..a description and illustrations of the hairless xoloitxcuintli breed, recently established and now registered with the Mexican and American kennel clubs.
1991 Dog Fancy Jan. 94/3  (advt.Xoloitzcuintli Hairless Puppies! Very rare, ancient, lovable!..Xolo owners rave about these almost human, faithful companions!
2012 Wall St. Jrnl. 28–29 Jan. c4/1 The Xoloitzcuintli is the national dog of Mexico... You can call them ‘Xolos’.

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