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Recorded from the mid 16th century, a word common to a number of Germanic languages, usually as a call-name for a cat. From the mid 17th century, the word has also been applied to a hare.

Puss in Boots the central character of a story by Perrault, in which a miller bequeaths his three sons respectively his mill, his ass, and his cat. The youngest, who inherits the cat, laments his ill-fortune. But the resourceful cat, by a series of unscrupulous ruses, in which he represents his master to the king as the wealthy marquis of Carabas, secures for him the hand of the king's daughter.

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