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tusker (male elephant)

Etymology 1[edit]

From tusk +‎ -er.


tusker (plural tuskers)

  1. An animal, such as a bull elephant or a boar, with large tusks.
    • 1928 June, Fred Graves, Houdini of the Desert: Face to Face with Savage Elephants, Popular Science, page 19,
      The massive tusker leading the herd stopped in his tracks. His ears went out, his long sinuous trunk up.
    • 1998, Alexander Moore, Cultural Anthropology: The Field Study of Human Beings[1], page 267:
      Negotiations to acquire a fine tusker from one young partner in another village fell through; so on the eve of the actual feast, Songi humiliated him by asking him to come to the feast as if he were the rival chief, the guest of honor. The man was deeply shamed by the invitation since he could not possibly reciprocate, and he had to send the tusker itself as payment for the invitation gifts.


Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Norse torfskeri, from torf (turf) + skera (to cut), whence also Scottish Gaelic tairsgear, toirsgear and later forms like toirsgein (assimilated to sgian (knife)). Known in print from the early 19th century, but doubtless much older.

A peat bank with tusker.

Alternative forms[edit]


tusker (plural tuskers)

  1. (Britain, especially Scotland, Orkney, Shetland) A tool used in peat cutting, a type of spade similar to a cascrom.