How did the Groundhog get its name and Where does the word Groundhog come from?

We should properly call the groundhog, the largest member of the squirrel family, a marmot, or even a woodchuck, for there is definitely nothing hoggish about him.

Or her, as the case may be. It is a “her” who rears her young annually under the pantry of my summer home.

Because there is American usage, a theory has been advanced that the name is a translation of the Dutch aardvark, earth pig or hog, an animal of South Africa which, though somewhat larger, has similar burrowing propensities.

Dutch colonists in America may have supposed the two to be members of the same family. (See also woodchuck.)

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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