Etymology
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serval (n.)

African wild cat, a name applied in zoology to various wild cats since 1771, from Modern Latin serval, French serval (Buffon, 1765), from Portuguese (lobo) cerval "lynx," from Latin lupus cervarius (source of French loup cervier) "lynx," etymologically "wolf that hunts the stag," from cervarius "pertaining to a stag," from cervus "stag," from PIE *ker-wo- "having horns," suffixed form of root *ker- (1) "horn; head." The actual animals eat small things like rodents and birds. Related: Servaline (adj.)

updated on May 31, 2022

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