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I remember being told, many years ago, at the time of old Yugoslavia, that the local word (I do not know whether Slovenian, Croatian, or what) for squirrel was something like [mukitsa] (I am spelling here as I think it was pronunced to me). I recently looked it up in various internet dictionaries and it does not seem to exist anywhere. All dictionaries have v(j)everica for 'squirrel', and nothing like mukica/мукица for anything.

Does anyone have any idea of what that word was (perhaps with a meaning slightly different from 'squirrel')?

Many thanks!
  • Mukica [ˈmuːkitsa] is an incredibly childish word for a cow in Slovenian (because the cow says "mu", the verb to moo is mukati), no connection to squirrels.

    However, mókus [ˈmoːkuʃ] means a squirrel in Hungarian (an unrelated but neighbouring language in the Pannonian basin). Mókuska [ˈmoːkuʃkɒ] is the diminutive (a small squirrel). Maybe that's what you heard? Hungarian is spoken as a minority language in north-eastern Croatia and northern Serbia and it is entirely possible that the word has been borrowed into a local Slavic vernacular.
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    Мукица (mukica) is a slang word in Serbian. It can mean a lot of thing. For example, my cat (male) was outside while it was raining, my sister would say 'mukica, vidi kako je pokisao' (Poor guy*, he is so wet).
    *That's the closest translation I could think of...