skunkweasel
Posted: 07 February 2020 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Just stumbled across the term “skunkweasel loss” and was about to ask for help in determing its origin.
A quick Google search made clear that it wasn’t a two word construction, but skunkweasel, a noun, used attributively as
as adjective.  So, back to Google for whatever I could find about skunkweasel.

The first thing I learned is that, contrary to old-fashioned belief, a skunk is not a weasel.

Next, there were damned few web pages containing skunkweasel.

finally it became apparent that it’s a pejorative term for sports teams from the University of Michigan, the school itself,
fans of those teams, or some combination of the above.  Why skunkweasel for U of M? 
Wikipedia to the rescue:

“Biff, the Wolverine was a live wolverine who served as a team mascot at University of Michigan Wolverines football games and was later kept in a small zoo at the University of Michigan in the 1920s and 1930s. In the mid-1920s, before the acquisition of a live wolverine, the University of Michigan used a mounted and stuffed wolverine, also named “Biff”, as the team mascot.”

No, the wolverine is not a skunk.  It is, however, a mustelid, a family that includes weasels.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustelidae

If your team and fans hate the Michigan wolverines, it’s logical, in a sophomoric way, to call them weasels.  But that’s not insulting enough, so prepend skunk and Bob’s your <s> mustelid</s> uncle.

Two recent examples:
https://ndnation.com/boards/showpost.php?b=mcgraw;pid=78286;d=this

Warning, this next one contains strong language.
https://247sports.com/college/ohio-state/Board/121/Contents/Why-all-of-these-Skunkweasel-Trolls-9541921/

The associated universities are Notre Dame for the first link, and Ohio State for the second.  Both maintain heated, hate-filled rivalries with Michigan.

The etymology offered above is conjectural.  If you have better sources, please share them.

[ Edited: 12 February 2020 12:03 PM by cuchuflete ]
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Posted: 08 February 2020 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m pretty sure that the appearance of a wolverine has a lot to do with it. It is built and acts like a weasel on steroids, has markings reminiscent of a skunk, and will even raid your chicken coop like a puny little ‘real’ weasel would.

The rivalry with the Irish(that link wouldn’t work for me) and the Buckeyes just assures that names will be called.

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Posted: 08 February 2020 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks.  Don’t know if you have to be registered to access the ND Women’s basketball board.

Here’s the relevent post:

Probably a skunkweasel loss.
by irishintheville (2020-02-07 12:43:40)
In reply to: “Irish double”. I like it. What would be an “Irish triple”? * posted by Jon

One can never lose sight of the delight in a skunkweasel loss in anything. Baylor for WBB would probably qualify as well. It’s good to have flexibility in one’s schadenfreude.

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Posted: 09 February 2020 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I can’t find anything on skunkweasel, but DARE says that skunk bear is another name for the wolverine. Here’s the entry:

skunk bear n
[See quot 1946]
=wolverine.

1876 U.S. Army Corps Topog. Engineers Rept. Reconnaissance Yellowstone 1.65 swMT, Gulo luscus. . . In this region they were spoken of as the “Skunk-bear;” farther south they are called “Carcajou.”

1916 Kephart Camping & Woodcraft 1.262 NC, The wolverine, also called glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, and Indian devil, is the champion thief of the wilderness.

1946 Dufresne AK’s Animals 93, The term “skunk-bear” is roughly descriptive of this burly marauder. Its 25 to 35 pound bear-like body is low slung on powerful legs terminating in large feet capably armed with long, curved claws. The glossy dark brown fur is marked with two pale lateral stripes converging at the base of a skunk-like bushy tail. Moreover, the wolverine is capable of emitting a disagreeable musky odor from specialized anal glands.

1980 Whitaker Audubon Field Guide Mammals 579, Wolverine—“Glutton”—“Skunk Bear.”

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Posted: 09 February 2020 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Dave Wilton - 09 February 2020 06:06 AM

I can’t find anything on skunkweasel, but DARE says that skunk bear is another name for the wolverine. Here’s the entry:

skunk bear n
=wolverine.


1946 Dufresne AK’s Animals 93, The term “skunk-bear” is roughly descriptive of this burly marauder. Its 25 to 35 pound bear-like body is low slung on powerful legs terminating in large feet capably armed with long, curved claws. The glossy dark brown fur is marked with two pale lateral stripes converging at the base of a skunk-like bushy tail. Moreover, the wolverine is capable of emitting a disagreeable musky odor from specialized anal glands.

To add to the bolded text above, Wikipedia offers this, which seems at least equal to sports rivalry as a source for skunkweasel:

“Like many other mustelids, it has potent anal scent glands used for marking territory and sexual signaling. The pungent odor has given rise to the nicknames “skunk bear” and “nasty cat.” “

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Posted: 10 February 2020 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Musteline is one of those latinate adjectives covering the above. We’ve all heard canine and feline used as nouns (elegant variation), maybe even cow-like critters as bovines. Do others, other than zoologists, find these annoying? You’ll find spraints in nature’s lutrine latrines.

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Posted: 12 February 2020 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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This is from page 110 of The Encyclopaedia Britannica 1842:

The animals of this genus are commonly called skunks or mephitic weasels, and are remarkable for their intense and ineradicable odour. Although several species are described by naturalists, it does not appear that more exists than one, the skunk weasel of Pennant (Mephitis Americana, Rich., Viverra putorius, Gmelin), which is spread over a great extent of territory in the New World, and varies in different localities. Its size is that of a domestic cat, its fur, though rather coarse, is very ample, of a black colour, marked by longitudinal bands of white, and the tail, which is long and bushy, has generally two broad longitudinal white stripes above upon a black ground.

I’ll leave it to someone more dedicated than I am to read back to determine the exact species being described.

edited link - the date is from the front of the book but the link is dodgy. I can’t cut and paste from Google Books so typed it out.

[ Edited: 12 February 2020 04:21 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 12 February 2020 04:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Mephitic. That’s a new word to me. (But obviously not a new word.) It’s a wonderful one, though, and I’ve got to find ways to use it.

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Posted: 12 February 2020 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Dave Wilton - 12 February 2020 04:22 AM

Mephitic. That’s a new word to me. (But obviously not a new word.) It’s a wonderful one, though, and I’ve got to find ways to use it.

I can think of several places it might be used in the run=up to November. I’ll bet you could too.

edit: So, I used it on Youtube. I said something like “there is a foul Mephitic odor coming from ….” and my comment was flagged by YT asking me to abide by their community standards. :-0

[ Edited: 12 February 2020 06:52 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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