- noun a late order batsman with little or no batting skill; a tailenderCitation ‘Nearly every eleven has a “rabbit” or two at the end’ (Westminster Gazette 8 May 1906)Citation ‘He was still 20 runs short of his century when Panesar, mocked as a notorious rabbit, arrived at the crease’ (Donald McRae, Guardian 9 May 2006)See also bunny
- A small furry burrowing game animal, Oryctolagus caniculus, of the hare family sometimes farmed and weighing when dressed around 1.2 kg to 4 kg for some of the farmed animals. The farmed animal’s flesh resembles chicken, the wild animals are more gamey but this may be reduced by soaking in salted water and briefly blanching. They are not hung. Cooked in any way, traditionally served with onion sauce.
- verb (to) talk, gossip, (have a) conversation. The term is cockney rhyming slang, from ‘rabbit and pork’: talk. The word gained widespread currency through TV comedies of the 1970s and the soundtrack to a 1980s advertisement for Courage Best beer. Rabbit (or ‘rabbit on’) is now often used by middle-class speakers unaware of its rhyming provenance. Genuine cockneys often prefer the derivation bunny.
- noun a long-distance runner who sets a fast pace for a stronger teammate in the early part of a race
- noun a common wild animal with grey fur, long ears and a short white tail, used as food
Origin & History of “rabbit”
Rabbit was probably introduced into English from Old French. No immediate source is known to have existed, but we do have corroborative evidence in French dialect rabotte ‘young rabbit’ and Walloon robète. The latter was a diminutive derivative of Flemish robbe (Walloon is the form of French spoken in Flanders and Belgium), and it seems likely that the word’s ultimate origins are Low German. At first it was used only for ‘young rabbit’ in English, and it did not really begin to take over from cony as the general term for the animal until the 18th century.