August 07, 2013
- wombat (noun)
- What does it mean?
- : any of several stocky burrowing Australian marsupials that resemble small bears
- How do you use it?
- Visitors to some parts of Australia are often warned about stepping in holes that wombats have dug with their long, powerful claws.
- Are you a word wiz?
Which one of these words do you think entered English at about the same time as "wombat"?"Wombat," which comes from an Australian aborigine language called Dharuk, made its first known appearance in English in 1798, along with "wallaby," which is the name of a small kangaroo that is also native to Australia. The piece of equipment called the "trampoline," used for acrobatic tumbling, made its earliest known appearance the same year, as did "periodical," which refers to a publication that is put out at regular intervals. Other new entries at around the same time included "colonial," "stuffy," and "cosmopolitan," a word that means "having a worldwide outlook."