Lemizh / English dictionary
to make tree squirrels (also the constellation corresponding to Lynx and Leo Minor; see appendix, Constellations)
Calling someone a squirrel refers to their thrift or stinginess, often combined with a tendency to come up with unexpected presents (especially in winter). This use is only attested from Early New Lemizh.
The word might have referred to other tree-dwelling rodents in the past, but in NLem it is definitely the red squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris. Extended to tree squirrels of other continents in modern times.
< NLem ksmUs‑a
< LMLem, MLem kesmUs‑yr
< OLem kes‑müs‑, clarifying compound of
< PLem kes‑, of unknown origin
OLem müs‑ ‘mouse’
< PLem *mūs‑
< PIE *múh₂s
Eng mouse, Lat mūs ‘mouse’