Beware the Talkative Muskrat Hey look! It's a woodch-! Actually, the word "woodchuck" is a great example of "folk etymology", whereby speakers of one language replace a foreign word with a more familiar, similar sounding word, even if it doesn't make sense. In this case, the name derives from the algonquin "otchek", which English speakers transformed into "woodchuck". Soon followed the popular tongue-twister poem poking fun at the nonsense of the moniker. Another fascinating example is "chaise lounge", which derives from the French "chaise longue", meaning "long chair". In that case, the two words did a bit of a semantic switcheroo! How about that! Where are we going?

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