gorilla


gorilla
gorilla 1847, applied to the apes (Troglodytes gorills) by U.S. missionary Thomas Savage, from Gk. gorillai, plural of name given to wild, hairy people in a Greek translation of Carthaginian navigator Hanno's account of his voyage along the N.W. coast of Africa, c.500 B.C.E. Allegedly an African word.
In its inmost recess was an island similar to that formerly described, which contained in like manner a lake with another island, inhabited by a rude description of people. The females were much more numerous than the males, and had rough skins: our interpreters called them Gorillae. We pursued but could take none of the males; they all escaped to the top of precipices, which they mounted with ease, and threw down stones; we took three of the females, but they made such violent struggles, biting and tearing their captors, that we killed them, and stripped off the skins, which we carried to Carthage: being out of provisions we could go no further. [Hanno, "Periplus"]
Of persons perceived as being gorilla-like, from 1884.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Gorilla — Sm ein Menschenaffe , übertragen Leibwächter std. (19. Jh.) Onomastische Bildung. Entlehnt aus ne. gorilla. Das Wort taucht zuerst in dem Reisebericht des Karthagers Hanno (5. Jh. v. Chr. ) auf und bezeichnet in Afrika (Kamerun) angetroffene… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Gorilla — (Gorilla gorilla Wymann, Troglodytes Gorilla Sav., Gorilla gina Geoffr., s. Tafel »Affen II«, Fig. 1), der größte der menschenähnlichen Affen (Anthropomorphen), wird 2 m hoch, hat einen mächtigen Kopf mit hohem Scheitel und Hinterhauptskamm und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • gorilla — ☆ gorilla [gə ril′ə ] n. [< Gr gorillai, a tribe of hairy women, recorded by Hanno, Carthaginian navigator, as the native name in use in W Africa in the 5th c. B.C. for wild creatures found there] 1. the largest, and most powerful of the great …   English World dictionary

  • Gorilla — Gorilla: Das Wort stammt wahrscheinlich aus einer westafrik. Sprache. Es tritt zuerst im 5. Jh. in einer griechischen Übersetzung eines Reiseberichtes des Karthagers Hanno auf, bezieht sich darin aber auf einen Menschenstamm. Mit diesem Wort… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Gorilla — Go*ril la, n. [An African word; found in a Greek translation of a treatise in Punic by Hanno, a Carthaginian.] (Zo[ o]l.) A large, arboreal, anthropoid ape of West Africa. It is larger than a man, and is remarkable for its massive skeleton and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gorilla — Gorilla,der:⇨Leibwächter …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • gorilla — s.m. [dal gr. Górillai pl., adattam. d una voce africana, ripreso nel 1847 dall americano T. S. Savage; nel sign. 3. b sul modello del fr. gorille ], invar. 1. (zool.) [mammifero primate pongide vegetariano che vive in piccoli gruppi nelle… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • gorilla — ► NOUN 1) a powerfully built great ape of central Africa, the largest living primate. 2) informal a heavily built aggressive looking man. ORIGIN Greek, representing an alleged African word for a wild or hairy person …   English terms dictionary

  • Gorilla — For other uses, see Gorilla (disambiguation). Blackback and Silverback redirect here. For other uses, see Blackback (disambiguation) and Silverback (disambiguation). Gorillas[1] …   Wikipedia


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