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bantam (n.)

1749, after Bantam, former Dutch residency in Java, from which the small domestic fowl were said to have been first imported. Extension to "small person" is 1837. As a light weight class in boxing, it is attested from 1884, probably from the birds, which are small but aggressive and bred for fighting. The Indonesian Bantam, also called Banten, has a name of unknown origin, probably from a local language.

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