Mudcat Café message #4072348 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99032   Message #4072348
Posted By: FreddyHeadey
18-Sep-20 - 07:03 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Songs about Rabbits
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Rabbits.
Q
",,, wondering about the origin of bunny ,,,"

A
"Alas, itís not there largely because we donít know. Bun was an English dialect word, recorded from the sixteenth century, which was used for a squirrel or rabbit. It seems that the word turned into the endearment bunny in the following century, and only later was it transferred back to the rabbit.
There is a suggestion that the word may have originally referred to the small tail of the rabbit, in the same way that a tight coil of hair at the back of the neck was also called a bun, because both were roughly the shape and size of the cake. Others argue that the origin was the Gaelic word bun that meant a stump or root, and which could refer to the tail of a hare.
But neither origin explains why it was applied to a squirrel, whose tail looks rather different. But then, we donít know for sure where the word bun in the sense of the cake comes from either, so itís all quite obscure."
https://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bun1.htm