Delivered to your inbox! You have been successfully subscribed to the Grammarly blog. In “Possum Come A-Knocking” Nancy Van Laan uses rhymes to tell the story of a grandmother who was sitting in her rocking chair knitting when an opossum knocks at the front door. Notice how some authors capitalized on the traits of this interesting creature in the following quotes. It seems the possum was playing possum! Set your young readers up for lifelong success. Possums, on the other hand, live in Australia, New Guinea, Sulawesi, New Zealand, and China. To make the plural of opossum and possum, just add S to the end. So, in general, you can use opossum when referring to the American marsupial. Yes, there is.
Who Is The “Jack” In The Term “Jack-o’-lantern,” Anyway? Tina Fey, author of Bossypants, uses the term possum. A Google Ngram search reveals an alternating pattern.
Your friendly Merriam-Webster dictionary puts the full definition for the American creatures under the word opossum, and the full definition for the Australasian creatures under the word possum, but both entries acknowledge that both words are used for the creatures of both areas. “Democracy” vs. “Republic”: Is There A Difference? In the article mentioned at the beginning, the final clue to the identity of the mysterious backyard visitor was this: “if you so much as say a word to one of them, they freeze in their tracks, bear their teeth, and start hissing and groveling with mouths dripping in spit.” Yes, it’s the opossum. Learn a new word every day. While it’s not widely known, there is a difference between possum vs. opossum. Fly steals focus during debate. This children’s story is about a baby opossum that falls from her mother’s back into the backyard of the Green family, breaking her tail in the process. How to use a word that (literally) drives some pe... Name that government! It depends on the audience and the writer or speaker. Remember that both possum and opossum only have one P. The most common error is to double that letter. But there's more to this story. Redefine your inbox with Dictionary.com updates! In another quote from Terri Irwin, context clues suggest that this time she is talking about the Australian possum species. “Blorft” is an adjective I just made up that means ”Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.” I have been blorft every day for the past seven years. Trump touts rally successes, stare decisis The opossum is a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia (/daɪˌdɛlfɪˈmɔːrfiə/) endemic to the Americas. Well, if you are looking for guidance on what to call the cute little tick-eating North American marsupial with the opposable thumbs on its hind feet you can choose either opossum or possum (or opossum pronounced like possum is), and you should know that possum is far more common but that opossum is what the science-types prefer.
Once again, we can use context clues (torpor) to guess that it is the North American variety. (Possums are brown.) Hey Susie Derkins, is that your face, or is a ‘possum stuck in your collar? Coach Graham Hill said they wanted an outside lane for the final so he could try to shoot away unnoticed. There are many varieties of possums, including Gliders and Cuscus, while the opossum is a more limited species. How To Congratulate Yourself Without Bragging. If you are writing formally or you are not sure whether your audience will understand which animal you mean, make sure you spell opossum with an O unless you are talking about the marsupial from down under. Literally, the word means “white dog or beast” in Powhatan. However, Americans might call it a possum, much to the confusion of their friends from the Southern Hemisphere who envision a rather cuddly creature when they hear that word.
In North America, the animal officially called an opossum is a white and gray marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia. Gary Bogue, the former curator of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, California, wrote a book called There’s an Opossum in My Backyard. John Smith spelled it “opassum,” but William Strachey spelled it “aposoum.” Possums, on the other hand, live in Australia, Ne… Writing, grammar, and communication tips for your inbox. Like a lot of wildlife, they are completely misunderstood. You will see possum written in two ways. The opossum is primarily dark gray in color but some resemble cinnamon, and, as in Heidi’s case, white opossums are known to exist. 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'. Enter your email for word fun in your inbox every day. With their signature bare tail, the opossum is North America’s only known marsupial; this means the animal carries its young in a pouch much like the Australian kangaroo. What most in North America call a possum is actually called an Opossum.
So far, we've only addressed the fact that the Virginia opossum, a marsupial that makes its home in large swaths of North America, is referred to with both possum and opossum.
“We had snakes and goannas mostly, but also orphaned roo joeys, sugar gliders, and possums,” Steve said about these humble beginnings. Wait a minute, did you notice that she used possums and opossums in the same paragraph? Whether the sharp-toothed furry critter who rustles around outside your garbage cans at night is a possum or an opossum may simply come down to where you are in the world. She has quite a few memorable escapades as she steals food from the dog’s bowl, almost gets captured by an owl, and makes friends with other animals and the Green family. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. The room is the color of old opossum or new pumice, the color of newspaper without ink. In order to protect a fellow possum named Hush, Grandma Poss uses magic to make her invisible. Literally, the word means “white dog or beast” in Powhatan.
However, kangaroos and other Australian marsupials are closer relations than American opossums. Their name does derive from opossum.
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