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90s Slang You Should Know

Gila monster

a large, venomous lizard, Heloderma suspectum, of the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico, covered with beadlike scales of yellow, orange, and black.
Origin of Gila monster
1875-80, Americanism; after Gila Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Gila monster
Historical Examples
  • The wonder was that he had been able to do so much after the terrible shock of the Gila monster poison.

    Bloom of Cactus Robert Ames Bennet
  • There was a time when his reputation for evil was second only to that of the Gila monster.

    The Mystic Mid-Region Arthur J. Burdick
  • I am of the opinion his death was in part caused by the effects of the poison of the Gila monster.

  • Amidon looked at the stiff document as if it had been a Gila monster on toast.

    Double Trouble Herbert Quick
  • In captivity the Gila monster begins to slough about January and continues this process during several months.

  • Among Reptiles it is found in certain lizards, as in Heloderma suspectum, the Gila monster (Fig. 322).

  • Do you know why a Gila monster flops on his back when he bites?

    Bloom of Cactus Robert Ames Bennet
  • The Gila monster (pronounced Hee-la) has a thick body with short limbs and a short tail.

    Pathfinder Alan Douglas
  • It is the largest lizard found there except the Gila monster which will be described later.

    Pathfinder Alan Douglas
  • After a time Lennon noticed that the Gila monster had crawled up on a little sand ridge in the full glare of the mid-day sun.

    Bloom of Cactus Robert Ames Bennet
British Dictionary definitions for Gila monster

Gila monster

a large venomous brightly coloured lizard, Heloderma suspectum, inhabiting deserts of the southwestern US and Mexico and feeding mostly on eggs and small mammals: family Helodermatidae
Word Origin
C19: after the Gila, a river in New Mexico and Arizona
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Gila monster

gila monster


Heloderma suspectum, 1877, American English, from Gila River, which runs through its habitat in Arizona. The river name probably is from an Indian language, but it is unknown now which one, or what the word meant in it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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