I have been trying to find out why the word for “raccoon” in Portuguese is shown as “guaxinim” or sometimes shown as “mão-pelada”. “Guaxinim” looks very much like a Chinese word! Brazilian Portuguese calls it “mão-pelada” or “racum”. Does anyone know the derivation of “guaxinim”? And, by the way, do they exist in Portugal? Thanks very much for your help!
I love these random questions Well, Google says that ‘guaxinim’ (the only term we use in Portugal) derives from the name that one of the indigenous peoples of Brazil - the Tupi - gave to the animal. They named it îagûasinĩ. Why this name? Don’t ask!
Absolutely wonderful and totally unexpected answer, Joseph! I never would have expected this derivation—from the Tupi language. Thank you so much!