- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɒt.ə/
- (General American) enPR: ŏtʹər, IPA(key): /ˈɑtɚ/
Audio (Berkshire, UK) (file)
- Homophone: odder (US)
- Rhymes: -ɒtə(ɹ)
- A river with its source in the Blackdown Hills, Somerset, and which flows through Devon, to Lyme Bay in the English Channel.
From Middle High German otter, from Old High German ottar, from Proto-West Germanic *ot(t)r, from Proto-Germanic *utraz, from Proto-Indo-European *udrós.
Otter m (strong, genitive Otters, plural Otter)
- Fischotter m
- Seeotter m
From early New High German nō̆ter, eastern secondary form of Middle High German nāter, from Old High German nātara. Originally the same word as Natter “colubrid”, which see.
The form is based on the common dialectal development -ā- → -ō- with subsequent irregular shortening. Loss of initial n- is a common development in the Germanic languages and is due to metanalysis, i.e. the unetymological segmentation of preceding endings or articles, for example: *eine notter, dialectally *en notter → *en‿otter. The same happened in Dutch adder and English adder. The German form was spread by Luther.
Otter f (genitive Otter, plural Ottern)
- At least outside of scientific parlance, this word is chiefly restricted to compound words, to avoid confusion with Etymology 1.
From Old Frisian *otter, from Proto-West Germanic *ottr. Cognates include West Frisian otter and German Otter.
Otter m (plural Ottere)