Cayman



caiman.
any of several tropical American crocodilians of the genus Caiman and allied genera: some are endangered.
Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

noun (pl) -mans
any tropical American crocodilian of the genus Caiman and related genera, similar to alligators but with a more heavily armoured belly: family Alligatoridae (alligators, etc)
noun (pl) -mans
a variant spelling of cayman
n.

also cayman, 1570s, from Portuguese or Spanish caiman, from Carib acayouman “crocodile,” or perhaps from a Congo African word applied to the reptiles in the new world by African slaves. “The name appears to be one of those like anaconda and bom, boma, which the Portuguese or Spaniards very early caught up in one part of the world, and naturalized in another.” [OED]

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