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panda (n.)

1835, in reference to a carnivorous raccoon-like mammal (the lesser panda) of the Himalayas, from French, apparently from the Nepalese name of the animal. The first reference in English to the Giant Panda is from 1901; since its discovery in 1869 by French missionary Armand David (1826-1900) it had been known as parti-colored bear, but the name was changed after the zoological relationship to the red panda was established.

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