hamster:  The hamster is a native of western Asia and southeastern Europe, and its English name is of Slavic origin. In Old Slavic it was called chomestoru, and it appears that at some point in the past an ancestor of this was borrowed into Germanic. Old High German had hamustro, which became modern German hamster, source of the English word. In the 18th century the animal was also called the German rat.
c. 1600, from German Hamster, from Middle High German hamastra "hamster," probably from Old Church Slavonic chomestoru "hamster" (the animal is native to southeastern Europe), which is perhaps a blend of Russian chomiak and Lithuanian staras, both meaning "hamster." The older English name for it was German rat.