• The skunk
    The skunk
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v skunk defeat by a lurch
    • n skunk American musteline mammal typically ejecting an intensely malodorous fluid when startled; in some classifications put in a separate subfamily Mephitinae
    • n skunk street names for marijuana
    • n skunk a defeat in a game where one side fails to score
    • n skunk a person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible "only a rotter would do that","kill the rat","throw the bum out","you cowardly little pukes!","the British call a contemptible person a `git'"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Spotted skunks do handstands before they spray
    • n Skunk (Zoöl) Any one of several species of American musteline carnivores of the genus Mephitis and allied genera. They have two glands near the anus, secreting an extremely fetid liquid, which the animal ejects at pleasure as a means of defense.☞ The common species of the Eastern United States (Mephitis mephitica) is black with more or less white on the body and tail. The spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), native of the Southwestern United States and Mexico, is smaller than the common skunk, and is variously marked with black and white.
    • v. t Skunk In games of chance and skill: To defeat (an opponent) (as in cards) so that he fails to gain a point, or (in checkers) to get a king.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Minnesotans are forbade from teasing skunks.
    • n skunk A fetid animal of the American genus Mephitis, M. mephitica. In consequence of its abundance and general distribution, as well as certain peculiarities, the common skunk early attracted attention. It is mentioned in 1636 by Sagard-Théodat by several terms based on its Indian names, as scangaresse, ouinesque, etc., and in the same passage, in his “History of Canada,” this author calls it in French “enfan du diable” a name long afterward quoted as specific. It is the fiskatta of Kalm's “Travels,” commonly translated polecat, a name, however, common to various other ill-scented Mustelidæ. (See def. 2.) Chinche, chinga, and moufette (specifically moufette d'Amérique) are book-names which have not been Englished. The New Latin synonyms are numerous. The animal inhabits all of temperate North America, and continues abundant in the most thickly settled regions. It is about as large as a house-cat, but stouter-bodied, with shorter limbs, and very long bushy tail, habitually erected or turned over the back. The color is black or blackish, conspicuously but to a variable extent set off with pure white—generally as a frontal stripe, a large crown-spot, a pair of broad divergent bands along the sides of the back, and white hairs mixed with the black ones of the tail. The fur is valuable, and when dressed is known as Alaska sable; the blackest pelts bring the best price. The flesh is edible, when prepared with sufficient care. The skunk is carnivorous, like other members of the same family, with which its habits in general agree; it is very prolific, bringing forth six or eight young in burrows. The fluid which furnishes the skunk's almost sole means of defense was long supposed and is still vulgarly believed to be urine. It is the peculiar secretion of a pair of perineal glands (first dissected by Jeffries Wyman in 1844) similar to those of other Mustelidæ, but very highly developed, with strong muscular walls, capacious reservoir, and copious golden-yellow secretion, of most offensive suffocating odor, capable of being spirted several feet in fine spray, and of soon scenting the air for several hundred yards. The pungent effluvium is not less durable than that of musk, when the least quantity of the fluid has been spilled upon the person or clothes. It produces nausea in some persons, and has occasionally been used in minute doses as a remedy for asthma. Cases of a kind of hydrophobia from the bite of the skunk, with fatal result, have been reported, and appear to be authentic. For technical characters, see Mephitis.
    • n skunk By extension Any species of one of the American genera Mephitis, Spilogale, and Conepatus, and some others of the family Mustelidæ, as the African zorille, Asiatic teledu or stinkard, etc. See these words.
    • n skunk A base fellow: a vulgar term of reproach.
    • n skunk A complete defeat, as in some game in which not a point is scored by the beaten party.
    • skunk To beat (a player) in a game, as cards or billiards, completely, so that the loser fails to score.
    • skunk To cause disease in or of; sicken; scale, or deprive of scales: said of fish in the live-well of a fishing-smack.
    • n skunk Including the little striped skunks, at least twelve species have been recognized. After being changed back and forth by various revisers the name Mephitis is retained for the larger species and Spilogale for the smaller.
    • skunk In an election, to defeat (an opponent) completely, so that the latter gets no votes at all.
    • skunk To leave without paying one's bills.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The horned owl is the only animal stupid enough to attack a skunk.
    • n Skunk skungk a small North American carnivorous quadruped allied to the otter and weasel, defending itself by emitting an offensive fluid: a low fellow:
    • v.t Skunk to inflict such
    • n Skunk skungk (U.S.) a complete defeat
    • ***


  • Joseph Cannon
    Joseph Cannon
    “Sometimes in politics one must duel with skunks, but no one should be fool enough to allow skunks to choose the weapons.”
  • Austin O'Malley
    “Exclusiveness is a characteristic of recent riches, high society, and the skunk.”
  • Abraham Lincoln
    “What kills the skunk is the publicity it gives itself.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Contr. from the Abenaki (American Indianseganku,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Indian seganku.


In literature:

His pride," snorted grandma, "it's of the skunk order.
"Some Everyday Folk and Dawn" by Miles Franklin
I owe that much to the skunk, anyway.
"Army Boys on the Firing Line" by Homer Randall
They don't think much here of the life of such a skunk as you.
"Dr. Wortle's School" by Anthony Trollope
He treated me as if I had been a skunk.
"The Brand of Silence" by Harrington Strong
Among them are weasels, polecats, ferrets, martens, skunks, and others.
"Anecdotes of the Habits and Instinct of Animals" by R. Lee
Skunks lumbered down from the hill, with a curious, hollow, bumping sound to announce their coming.
"Wood Folk at School" by William J. Long
You tried to do me out of that, you damn skunk.
"Blazed Trail Stories" by Stewart Edward White
This, I know: in the morning, you'll start for Archer's Springs, you skunk!
"The Forbidden Trail" by Honoré Willsie
But there was fun as well as hard work, and Mr. Roosevelt has told one story about a skunk that is sure to be remembered.
"American Boy's Life of Theodore Roosevelt" by Edward Stratemeyer
You wuz near a doby hut, an' yer opened up on ther pizen skunks as wuz arter me.
"Frank Merriwell Down South" by Burt L. Standish

In poetry:

"He crawled up while I was sleepin'
And he bit me while I was drunk;
I don't want to be belly-achin'
But that was the trick of a skunk.
"The Cowboy's Prayer" by Curley Fletcher
I started off with a dump-diddle-dump,
(Oh, hell’s broke loose in Georgia!)
Skunk-cabbage growin' by the bee-gum stump,
(Whippoorwill, yo're singin’ now!)
"The Mountain Whippoorwill" by Stephen Vincent Benet
So, just on this morning - which made it more sinful,
With my women on board, the unprincipled skunk
Hung round all the bars till he loaded a skinful
Of grog, and then started his journey, dead drunk.
"How Polly Paid For Her Keep" by Barcroft Henry Boake
only skunks, that search
in the moonlight for a bite to eat.
They march on their solves up Main Street:
white stripes, moonstruck eyes' red fire
under the chalk-dry and spar spire
of the Trinitarian Church.
"Skunk Hour" by Robert Lowell
I stand on top
of our back steps and breathe the rich air—
a mother skunk with her column of kittens swills the garbage pail.
She jabs her wedge-head in a cup
of sour cream, drops her ostrich tail,
and will not scare.
"Skunk Hour" by Robert Lowell
A rat-face coot 'e is, with rat-like nerves
That's got all jangled with ixceedin' fright,
While I am 'andin' Spike wot 'e deserves.
But twice 'e tried to trip me in the fight,
The little skunk, now sobbin' like a tart,
"Aw, 'ave a 'eart!"
"'Ave a 'eart!" by C J Dennis

In news:

Even though I live in Northwest Pulaski, I have been fortunate enough to not have problems with skunks like some of my neighbors closer to town.
Pepper (the Band) Talks Favorite Strains, Skunk Baxter and Being the Old Guys on the Warped Tour and.
Wouldn't you rather be looking at a clown dressed as a skunk.
My two year old Golden Retriever, Sammi, met a skunk face-to-face for the first time this morning and, you guessed it, she got sprayed.
Since September 1, two skunks and one raccoon in the Northwest corner of the city haave been confirmed to be positive for Rabies.
Rock out with Farmer Jason's " Punk Rock Skunk".
View full size The skunk was found in Pittsgrove on Aug 5.
Health officials have confirmed a skunk has tested positive for rabies.
The skunk charged a resident of Briggsville who was riding an ATV and began following him.
The first skunk was discovered in early December in a dog pen attacking dogs.
The skunk was dead when police responded to a call for service, and they took its remains to the state lab for testing.
Martha Foley and Dr Curt Stager get down to the basics: How do you get rid of the skunk under the porch.
A dog's encounter with a skunk kicks off a chain of events that saved a woman'.
A dog's encounter with a skunk kicks off a chain of events that saved a woman's life.
Officials say a skunk captured in Camden County has been tested positive for rabies.