"kind of velvety cord used in embroidery, fringes, etc.," 1738, from French chenille, properly "caterpillar," literally "little dog" (13c.), from Latin canicula "a dog" (also "a violent woman; the star Sirius; the worst throw in dice"), diminutive of canis "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog"). So called for its furry look. Compare caterpillar.
cherchez la femme
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