muishond, noun

Forms:
mace ont, mais-handShow more Also mace ont, mais-hand, mais-hond, muis-hunt, muyshond.
Origin:
South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch, transferred use of Dutch muishond weasel.
1. Any of several small mammals, especially any of various species of mongoose. a. (Mustelidae family) i. The striped polecat, Ictonyx striatus; meerkat sense 3; stink-cat. ii. The African weasel, Poecilogale albinucha; occasionally also with distinguishing epithet, stink muishond. b. Any of several species of mongoose of the Viverridae; cf. meerkat sense 1 b; occasionally also with distinguishing epithet, snake muishond. In these senses also called mouse-hunt. Also attributive, and figurative.
1796 tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. I. 236Different species of these small quadrupeds..which at the Cape are known under the general name of muyshond.
1796 tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. III. 278My Hottentots of the colony all recognized it as a muyshond (mouse-dog), a general name among the inhabitants of the Cape for all the little carnivorous quadrupeds.
1827 T. Philipps Scenes & Occurrences 16Our first victim was a muis-hond, a destructive little animal of the weasel species and very numerous.
1835 A. Steedman Wanderings II. 97It is a lively little creature, extremely active and graceful in its movements, and is called by the Colonists the Rooie Muishunt.
[1844 J. Backhouse Narr. of Visit 311In the course of our journey, we saw..a species of Polecat, Mustella Zorilla? the Dutch name of the last is Muishond, which signifies Mouse-dog.]
1859 B. in Cape Monthly Mag. V. May 296During lambing time, the enclosure is drawn regularly every second or third morning by a pack of foxhounds under efficient discipline, and thus the jackals, wild cats, ratel, muishond, etc. etc., are kept down.
1880 F.G. Browning Fighting & Farming 37I rushed up, and saw the dog had hold of a stink-mais-hand, and had already, to all appearances, killed it.
1881 Meteor 12 Aug. 1He ran..into the veldt to take part in despatching an aromatic little animal known as a ‘mace ont’, which his dogs had captured.
1905 W.L. Sclater in Flint & Gilchrist Science in S. Afr. 127The last of the families of terrestrial Carnivora, the Mustelidae, contains five South African species,..two Otters..; the Ratel...The Striped Muishond (Zorilla striata), with its handsome livery of black and white and its skunk-like and fetid odour emitted from the anal glands, and finally the curious little Striped Weasel..make up the tale of this family.
1912 F.W. Fitzsimons Snakes of S. Afr. 30Within two yards of us, was a striped Muishond, with his paws firmly planted on an adult Black-necked cobra (Naia nigricollis). The Muishond stood facing us menacingly, daring us to approach.
1918 S.H. Skaife Animal Life in S. Afr. 265The muishond is easily tamed, but seemingly it would make an undesirable pet because it might at any time produce its overpowering odour if it should be disturbed or irritated. A smaller, but very similar species of muishond is found in Natal. These are the true muishonds, and must not be confused with the little grey mungoose.
1919 F.W. Fitzsimons Natural Hist. of S. Afr. II. 178 (Swart)If a nestful of young Springhares is found in the burrow, the Snake Muishond kills them all, although it may only be able to eat one or two.
1931 V. Sampson Kom Binne 193A Kaffir doctor appeared on the scene, a weird old fellow in a huge cap made of muishond skins and tails.
1948 A.C. White Call of Bushveld 207Striped Muishond (Cape Polecat).
1970 News/Check 12 June 11An assumption had grown up over the past year or more that South Africa was well and truly isolated, that it remained the muishond of the world with whom nobody wanted anything to do.
1982 S. Afr. Panorama Aug. 33Skeletons of bats and a muishond (a type of mongoose).
[1990 Skinner & Smithers Mammals of Sn Afr. Subregion 461Ictonyx striatus...As the coat is distinctively striped black and white, ‘striped’ very aptly describes this polecat. The Afrikaans stinkmuishond is descriptive, but muishond applies also to the weasel and the mongoose.]
2. combination
muishondbos [Afrikaans, bos bush], any of several odiferous plants, especially the oak-leaf pelargonium Pelargonium quercifolium (family Geraniaceae), and the shrub or small tree Premna mooiensis (family Verbenaceae).
Note:
In F. von Breitenbach’s Nat. List of Indigenous Trees (1987), the name ‘skunk bush’ is used for Premna mooiensis.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 344Muishondbos(sie), Pelargonium quercifolium...The plants have strong but not objectionable odour, the vernacular name (literally = skunk bush) refers to the pungent odour.
1975 Argus 17 Sept. 28And then there’s the muishondbos (skunk bush) which stinks like a skunk, especially after heavy dew or rain...also a means of protection, I suppose.
The striped polecat, Ictonyx striatus; meerkat3; stink-cat.
The African weasel, Poecilogale albinucha; occasionally also with distinguishing epithet, stink muishond.
Any of several species of mongoose of the Viverridae;
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