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ratel, noun

Forms:
Also rattel, rattle, and with initial capital.
Origin:
South African Dutch, Dutch, Show more South African Dutch, etymology dubious; probably related to Dutch raat honeycomb; but perhaps adaptation of Dutch ratel rattle (see quotation 1835).
1. The mammal Mellivora capensis of the Mustelidae; honey-badger; honey-ratel.
Note:
In Skinner & Smithers’s Mammals of Sn Afr. Subregion (1990), the name ‘honey badger’ is used for this species.
[1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. II. 124There is a Creature, pretty often seen in the Cape-Colonies; and which the People there call a Rattle-Mouse, tho’ it has Little or Nothing of the Likeness of any Kind of Mouse seen in Europe.]
1994 M. Roberts tr. of J.A. Wahlberg’s Trav. Jrnls 1838–56 42The dogs find a Ratel; a terrific fight. After a quarter of an hour the Ratel was still perfectly fresh.
2. transferred sense. Military. Usually with initial capital. [Probably alluding to the tough nature of the vehicle (related to the Afrikaans idiom so taai soos 'n ratel as tough as a honey-badger).] A six-wheeled armoured personnel-carrier and infantry combat-vehicle. Also attributive. See also buffel sense 2.
1977 B. Marks Our S. Afr. Army 32The Ratel, This..is probably the most respected vehicle in the whole defence force...There is virtually no terrain through which it cannot travel. Even water up to the depth of 1.2 metres...It has an incredible range of up to a thousand kilometres and can support its crew for two days.
1990 Knockespotch in Frontline Dec. 10In vain did churchmen plead for peace, And diehards call for more police, The fighting simply wouldn’t cease: He had to send in Ratels.
The mammal Mellivora capensis of the Mustelidae; honey-badger; honey-ratel.
A six-wheeled armoured personnel-carrier and infantry combat-vehicle. Also attributive.

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17311994