bush baby, noun phrase

Origin:
See quotation 1884.
Any of the lemur-like primates of the Lorisidae, especially Otolemur crassicaudatus and Galago moholi; nagapie; night-aappie; night-ape.
Note:
Some specialist sources see ‘bush baby’ and ‘night-ape’ as synonymous, referring to both local species of the Lorisidae; others advocate the use of ‘night-ape’ for the thick-tailed bushbaby Otolemur crassicaudatus, and ‘bush baby’ for the smaller Galago moholi; while yet a third view is that the ‘bush baby’ is O. crassicaudatus, and the ‘night-ape’ G. moholi. In general usage the words are used interchangeably.
1835 A. Smith Diary (1940) II. 160Galago maholi is the Bush Baby or nag-aapie.
1884 J.S. Little S. Afr.: Sketch Bk I. 31The bush baby..resembles a monkey in its general characteristics. Its squeal is unpleasantly similar to the cry of an infant in piteous distress.
1901 A.R.R. Turnbull Tales from Natal 81The occasional cry of a bush-baby alone broke the awful silence.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 98Bush-baby,..This pretty little animal is scarcely larger than a rat; it has exquisitely soft fur, large dark-brown eyes, and round erect ears. It makes an engaging pet.
1929 J. Stevenson-Hamilton Low-Veld 70The queer little fluffy, long-tailed bush babies, with their pointed inquisitive snouts,..spend their time amid the foliage of the largest and most dense-leafed of the evergreen trees.
1953 R. Campbell Mamba’s Precipice 140It seemed that there was a little child sobbing in a tree to his left. It sounded almost human but he knew it must be a bush-baby or lemur.
1967 S.M.A. Lowe Hungry Veld 108The sleepers stirred at the loud yell of a bush baby. ‘Clap, clap, clap. Wah! wah! wah!’ were the strange noises these furry, wide-eyed little creatures made.
1971 D.J. Potgieter et al. Animal Life in Sn Afr. 351There are two night-apes or bush-babies in Southern Africa, the night-ape or large grey bush-baby (Galago crassicaudatus)..and the bush-baby (Galago senegalensis).
1983 Nat. Geog. Mag. Mar. 370A nocturnal insect hunter, the big-eyed bush baby rarely leaves the trees in which it lives.
1990 Skinner & Smithers Mammals of Sn Afr. Subregion 145The colloquial names bushbaby for this species and night ape for the smaller species are commonly used in the Subregion.
Any of the lemur-like primates of the Lorisidae, especially Otolemur crassicaudatus and Galago moholi; nagapie; night-aappie; night-ape.

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