Groundhog’s Day is not just for groundhogs. Bodie, our Black Mouth Cur, seemed to be smiling as he saw his shadow this morning. I know that means we are due to have six more weeks of bad weather, but with a day like today, which is gorgeous, that doesn’t even seem like such a bad trade-off.
The groundhog is a “stocky, North American burrowing rodent, Marmota monax, which hibernates in the winter.” I was interested in other names the groundhog is known as, so I Googled it. Some were familiar to me, but others I had never heard of. Woodchuck and chuck are common names in my area of the country, while whistle pig and land beaver are very new names to me. If you have any other groundhog aliases to share, please leave a comment below.
ORIGIN: 1665–75, Americanism ; presumably a reshaping by folk etymology of a word in a Southern New England Algonquian language; compare
Narragansett (E spelling) ockqutchaun woodchuck.*