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civet (n.)

1530s, "cat-like quadruped of northern Africa," from French civette (15c.), ultimately (with Italian zibetto, Medieval Latin zibethum, Medieval Greek zapetion) via lost intermediate forms from Arabic zabad "civet," which is said to be related to zabad "foam, froth," zubd "cream," but perhaps this is folk-etymology of an African name. As "secretion of the anal glands of a civet-cat," one popular in perfumes, from 1550s. Hence, as a verb, "to scent with perfume" (c. 1600). Related: Civited.

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genet (n.)
small civet, late 15c., from Old French genete (13c., Modern French genette), from Spanish gineta, from Arabic jarnait.
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