[Ads-l] Trash Panda

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sat Mar 19 14:26:21 UTC 2016

"Trash panda" as a term for raccoon.

It seems to have arisen in 2015. Urban Dictionary has an entry dated 26 July 2015. My Facebook feed is overrun with the term. (The creatures are major pest here in Toronto.) And there's at least one Reddit feed devoted to videos and images of "cute" trash pandas.

I've found a couple of ambiguous references from earlier. One is a Saint John, New Brunswick music group "Trash Panda & and The Plywood Carousel Rejects" (Telegraph-Journal, 30 Jan 2007). 

The other is the from Michael Shilling's 2009 novel "Rock Bottom": "The box was impaled on her heel. She shook her foot, but it wouldn't come off, hanging there like a little baby trash panda." There's no further elaboration of the term, so it's not clear if it refers specifically to raccoons or just to a supposed panda characteristic to cling to things.

--Dave Wilton
   Department of English, University of Toronto
   dave.wilton at utoronto.ca / dave at wilton.net

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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