Badger is the common name for any animal of three subfamilies, which belong to the family Mustelidae: the same mammal family as the ferrets, the weasels, the otters, and several other types of carnivore. more...
There are 9 species of badger, in three subfamilies: Melinae (the Eurasian badgers), Mellivorinae, (the Ratel or honey badger), and Taxidinae (the American badger). The name is possibly derived from the word badge, on account of the marks on the head; or it may be identical with the term noted below, the French blaireau being used in both senses. Typical badgers (Meles, Arctonyx, Taxidea and Mellivora species) are short-legged and heavy-set. The lower jaw is articulated to the upper, by means of a transverse condyle firmly locked into a long cavity of the cranium, so that dislocation of the jaw is all but impossible. This enables the badger to maintain its hold with the utmost tenacity.
The collective name for a group of badgers is a cete.
An older term for "badger" is brock (Old English brocc), a Celtic loanword (Gaelic broc, Welsh broch, from Proto-Celtic *brokko). The Proto-Germanic term was *þahsu- (German dachs), likely from the PIE root *tek'- "to construct", so that the badger would have been named after its digging of setts (tunnels).
Because of their fidelity and gentle nature, badgers are seen by some as a symbol of love and loyalty.
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