porpentine

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

porpentine (plural porpentines)

  1. (archaic) porcupine
    • (Can we date this quote?) W. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V:
      “GHOST: I could a tale unfold whose lightest word / Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, / Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, / Thy knotted and combined locks to part / And each particular hair to stand on end, / Like quills upon the fretful porpentine
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter XI:
      Odd that he [Hamlet's ghost] should have said porpentine when he meant porcupine. Slip of the tongue, no doubt, as so often happens with ghosts.