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From a Native American language of the southeastern United States.[1] This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.


assapan (plural assapans)

  1. (Southern US, now uncommon) A flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans, the southern flying squirrel, found in the southern and eastern United States.
    • 1875, John George Wood, Trespassers: showing how the inhabitants of earth, air, and water are enabled to trespass on domains not their own, page 299:
      Other Taguans and Assapans belong to the genus Sciuropterus, or winged squirrels. Like most of the active rodents, the Flying Squirrels are very capable of domestication, and will soon learn to prefer the society of human beings [] .
    • 1896, Brehm's Life of animals, translated from the third German edition by Pechuel-Loesche, Haacke and Schmidtlein, page 312:
      A very keen observation, prolonged for some time, is necessary to follow an Assapan at all, to distinguish and understand the purport of its different movements, []
    • 1909, Wallace Rice, Animals: a popular natural history of wild beasts, page 66:
      Assapans are fond of living in colonies, and where they have not been disturbed come together in great numbers for what can be no other purpose than play.


  1. ^ 1902, Journal of American Folklore, volume 15