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See also: flitter-mouse


Alternative forms[edit]


From flitter +‎ mouse (compare flickermouse, flindermouse), after Middle Dutch fleddermuys, vledermuys, vlermuys (Modern Dutch vleermuis), from Middle Dutch vledderen, vlederen (to flutter, float, hover) + muys (mouse). Cognate with West Frisian flearmûs (bat), Middle Low German vledermūs (bat), German Fledermaus (bat), Swedish fladdermus (bat) and flädermus (“bat”‎). More at flitter, flutter, flatter, mouse.


flittermouse (plural flittermice)

  1. (now chiefly dialectal) A bat; a reremouse; flindermouse.
    • 1891, Conway Lloyd Morgan, Animal sketches:
      I thank thee, gentle flittermouse, for these so pleasant memories. Have you ever caught and examined a flittermouse?
    • 1894, Philip Stewart Robinson, Birds of the Wave and Woodland, Electronic Edition, unnumbered page,
      The bats wheel overhead, their soft wings crumpling as they turn their somersaults, but never a voice in the air, save sharp needle-points of sound, as flittermouse calls to flittermouse.
    • 1969, Rayner Heppenstall, The Shearers, page 183,
      They don't bump into folk, blind people don't. They're like flittermice. You never saw two flittermice bump into each other.