A small insectivorous mammal, resembling a mouse in form. It
was supposed to have the power of injuring cattle by running over them;
and to provide a remedy our forefathers used to plug the creature into
a hole made in an ash-tree, any branch of which would cure the
mischief done by the mouse. (Anglo-Saxon, screawa, a
shrew-mouse; mouse is expletive.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Shrew-mouse from Infoplease:
- Shrew-mouse - Shrew-mouse A small insectivorous mammal, resembling a mouse in form. It was supposed to have the ...
- shrewmouse: meaning and definitions - shrewmouse: Definition and Pronunciation
- tree shrew - tree shrew tree shrew, small, arboreal mammal of the family Tupaiidae, found in S Asia. The 17 ...
- Misnomers - Misnomers Absalom means a Father's Peace, a fatal name for David's rebellious son. Acid ...
- Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: S - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "S"