moose

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English[edit]

moose

Etymology 1[edit]

Earlier mus, moos, from a Northeastern Algonquian language name for the animal, still phonetically identical to Ojibwe mooz,[1], and cf. Massachusett moos, mws (cognate to Narragansett moos, Penobscot mos, Abenaki moz), from moos-u (he strips, cuts smooth), from Proto-Algonquian *mo·swa, referring to how a moose strips tree bark when feeding.[2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

moose (plural moose or mooses or (uncommon, humorous) meese)

  1. (US) The largest member of the deer family (Alces alces), of which the male has very large, palmate antlers.
    We saw a moose at the edge of the woods.
  2. plural form of moose
  3. (informal) An ugly person
Usage notes[edit]
  • The use of moose in the plural is sometimes problematic. The regular form plural, mooses, is by now rare and its use may be regarded as irksome and uneuphonious. The form meese—formed by analogy with goosegeese—will in most cases be greeted with a snicker, and is thus generally only appropriate in humorous contexts; even pragmatics notwithstanding, because moose has Algonquian origins—wholly unrelated to the Germanic roots of goose, on whose pattern the plural meese is formed—an umlaut plural form is etymologically inconsistent. The living Algonquian languages follow clear pattern: (i) among the Cree the contrast is between Mooswa (singular) and Mooswak (plural), whereas (ii) the Ojibwe contrast Mooz to Moozoog (note that g and k are etymologically identical in this language-family).[3] The name moose is of eastern Algonquian origin and signifies "eater", for the animal's browsing habit.3</ref> but this plural form sees no use in English. In ordinary common usage, moose is treated as an invariant noun, which means its plural is also moose (as with the names of many animals, such as deer and fish, which are also invariant); however, this usage can sometimes be considered stilted when a group of more than one moose are considered individually, in which case avoidance of the plural may be the best option, necessitating the employment of a circumlocution.
Synonyms[edit]
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Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Dutch moes.

Noun[edit]

moose (plural mooses)

  1. (obsolete, rare) A stew.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://ojibwe.lib.umn.edu/main-entry/mooz-na
  2. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  3. ^ http://ojibwe.lib.umn.edu/main-entry/mooz-na

Ojibwe[edit]

Noun[edit]

moose (plural mooseg)

  1. worm
  2. caterpillar

Scots[edit]

moose

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English mous, from Old English mūs, from Proto-Germanic *mūs, from Proto-Indo-European *muh₂s.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

moose (plural mice)

  1. mouse