I'm looking for a word that means 'weasilish', but similar to equine, aquiline, etc.

The best I could come up with is mustelidic. Maybe mustelidine? I need it as an adjective: "mustelidic communications."

The context I need to use it in is a bit of a joke about using weasel words. Using 'weaselish' doesn't work because it is too forthright.

It doesn't have to be strict English -- can be a word made up based on the latin word for weasel and existing English rules. I'm just looking for something that sounds reasonable, obscure, but is also precise.

  • 1
    'mustelidic/-ine' would be a euphemism rather than a weasel-word for weasel.
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 20:20
  • I'll change the question to that. You're right.
    – rrauenza
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 20:24
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because 'We can play outside the rules of the English language'. Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 20:26
  • 1
    there may be overlap. A euphemism hides or obscures, usually for vulgarity but also bluntness or pedestrianess (?) (vulgar as in gross and also as in common). A weasel-word, is just a modifier that makes things weaker, so that if taken literally, one can't be held to saying the full sense (e.g. almost, kind of, I think, partially, etc).
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 20:30
  • So you want a weasel word for "weasel like"?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 21:34

2 Answers 2


Musteline seems a bit too direct; everybody would know what you meant.

Try tergiversating or tergiversatory instead: it means shifty or crafty. There is a verb tergiversate and a noun tergiversation to go with it. Per the OED, tergiversation is:

  1. The action of ‘turning one’s back on’, i.e. forsaking, something in which one was previously engaged, interested, or concerned; desertion or abandonment of a cause, party, etc.; apostasy, renegation. Also with a and pl., an instance of this; an act of desertion or apostasy.

  2. Turning in a dishonourable manner from straightforward action or statement; shifting, shuffling, equivocation, prevarication. Also with a and pl., an instance of this; an evasion, a subterfuge.

You want sense two.

When Hamlet was avoiding coming with Polonius at his lady mother’s behest by arguing whether a cloud was more like unto a camel or a weasel, the Prince was tergiversating — normally Polonius’s job.

  • I want the actual weasel animal to be in the word's derivation. Musteline is it. And it's even a real word!
    – rrauenza
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 21:22

vulpine, perhaps? It's not the same animal, but this word could work if your trying to imply some of the general physical features. It also covers some of the same qualities associated with weasels: cunning, sneakiness, slinking, thieving, etc.

  • Thank you, it's a good suggestion, but in my case the word deriving back to an actual weasel is required.
    – rrauenza
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 19:19

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