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Its name probably derives from the Ojibwa atchitamon, which means "one who descends from trees headlong." What mammal is it?

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Answer: the chipmunk

Chipmunks are a type of squirrel. They are also called chitmunks, chipmucks, chipping squirrels, hackees, and striped squirrels.

Note: If you say the Ojibwa word at-chit-a-mon quickly 10 times, you'll experience the elation of accelerated word formation.


It's not clear at first glance if the "i" is long or short, so the repetition may not be useful for everyone. It might help if you spelled it "at-chitt-a-mon." Interesting etymology, though I don't know of many instances of t>p mutations.
greg felton, Vancouver

I don't think it's really t>p. It's much more likely a mutation in response to the m that already exists. so something more like tm>pm (because both t and p are voiceless stops).
Diane, Chengdu

Yay, I got one!!! My first guess was Cheetah, but it seemed unlikely that an African cat would carry an Ojibwa name, so my second guess was Chipmunk!
Greg Scott, Waterloo

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