English edit

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Etymology edit

From naked +‎ ape, reportedly coined by Desmond Morris in his book The Naked Ape (1967).

Noun edit

naked ape (plural naked apes)

  1. (idiomatic, chiefly humorous) A human being.
    Synonym: (chiefly humorous) featherless biped
    • 1969, David H. Stewart, “The Decline of WASP Literature in America”, in College English, volume 30, number 6, page 412:
      What, after all, can a poor naked ape do?
    • 2003, M. Pagel and W. Bodmer, "A Naked Ape Would Have Fewer Parasites," Proceedings: Biological Sciences, Vol. 270, Supplement: Biology Letters, p. S117:
      Humans are unique among the monkeys and apes in lacking a dense layer of hair covering their bodies.
    • 2006 April 3, Greg Levine, “Anheuser, Pepsi CEOs Face New Labor Cost: Chimps”, in forbes.com, retrieved 16 Aug. 2011:
      Anheuser-Busch ads have played up the similarities between ape and naked ape—with the lower primates usually looking better.

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