Afrikaans Animal Names

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Richprins

Afrikaans Animal Names

Unread post by Richprins »

Mods, I know this excludes foreigners somewhat, but I think it would provide a lively discussion! :)

Being an Afrikaner myself, I have sometimes felt a little disappointed at the originality of thought that went into our ancestors' efforts at naming especially mammals! :shock:

I know there was a large Dutch influence, as that is basically where the language originated...

Most of the Afrikaans names were simply translated into English later on, and those that weren't translatable, remained Afrikaans!

A suitable example would be the naming of antelope:

Rietbok (Reedbuck)
Bosbok (Bushbuck)
Steenbok (Stone Buck)
Waterbok (Waterbuck)
Wildebeest (Wild Cow) :?
Hartebeest (Heart/Hard Cow)
Ribbok (Rib Buck) :shock:

And then when they ran out of habitats to name them after, they went to colours:

Rooibok (Red Buck)
Bloubok (Bluebuck)
Grysbok (Grey Buck)
Blouwidebees (Blue Wild Cow)
Swartwildebees (Black Wild Cow)
Grysduiker (Grey Duiker)
Rooiduiker (Red Duiker)
Blouduiker (Blue Duiker)
Rooiribbok (Red Rib Buck)
Vaalribbok (Drab Rib Buck)

And then when they ran out of those, they used local African names (Kudu, etc.)

And then after that, new ones were simply called "Bastards" of what they had! :(

Bastergemsbok (Bastard Gemsbok - Roan)
Basterhartebeest (Bastard Hartebeest - Tsessebe)
Basterkudu (Sitatunga)

Who has any more exciting Afrikaans names for any animals, birds and reptiles included!?
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arks
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Unread post by arks »

This foreigner doesn't feel at all excluded, RP, I think that this is all very interesting indeed! 8) Besides, perhaps it will help me with my struggles to learn some Afrikaans :wink:
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p@m
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Unread post by p@m »

How about the horses ?

luiperd (lazy horse)
jagluiperd (hunt lazy horse)
kameelperd (camel horse)


or

swartwitpens (black white tummy) (sable)
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tigger83
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Unread post by tigger83 »

Hi there

How about this one: Seekoei (sea cow) = Hippopotamus.
Richprins

Crazy names

Unread post by Richprins »

mikev wrote:I am fascinated by the name "IETERMAGOG" - and does anyone know how that originated ?
And it's English name "PANGOLIN" is also much more creative than Scaly Anteater and how did that originate ?


mikev, glad you brought that question up!

This must be one of the strangest coincidences! :shock:

The English name "pangolin" is a derivative of the Malaysian "Peng-go-leng", long before SA times! :shock:

Ironically, Malay slaves were brought to the Cape later, and "Ietermagog" also seems to be a subsequent Malay derivative, although I have no idea what it means! :shock:

So I would give this name and "Swartwitpens" a "thumbs up"! 8)
Richprins

Sea cow

Unread post by Richprins »

rayb wrote:Hippopotamus comes from the Greek - Hippo = horse - Potamus = river.


Well done, professor! :roll:

Interestingly, the German for Hippo is Seekuh - (Sea Cow)

Remember, the Dutch came prepared for the most well-known species! :twisted:
Last edited by Richprins on Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JenB
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Unread post by JenB »

RP, I always thought that the word "ietermagog" originated from an African language. This is from Wikipedia.

Die naam "ietermagog" is waarskynlik afkomstig van Tswana: machocho ("mier") of magogwe ("ratel"). Die woordvorming van "ietermagog", asook die habitat en rol van die dier in die bygelowe van inheemse Suid-Afrikaanse stamme, ondersteun dié herkoms van die woord.


(Translate: The name "ietermagog" was probably derived from Tswana: machocho ("ant") or magogwe ("honey badger"). The word formation, as well as the habitat and role of the animal in the superstitions of indigenous South African tribes support the origin of the word.)
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billyf
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Unread post by billyf »

Any idea where the name Meerkat derives from??

Also there appear to be two types of meerkat - what's the difference??

Anybody know??
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Unread post by Bennievis »

Nagapie - Night monkey (Bush baby) :D
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Unread post by Pjw »

Billyf asked
Any idea where the name Meerkat derives from??


According to Meerkat manor, Flower of the Kalahari by Tim Clutton-Brooke: He says one theory is that Meerkat is simply the Afrikaans for Mongoose. The other theory is that the early Dutch settlers used the phrase "meer kat as hond" which was shortened to Meerkat Tha Namaqualand Khoisan call them hcryky
:shock:
BillyF also asked
Also there appear to be two types of meerkat - what's the difference??
:
According to the same book there are 3 subspecies of Meerkat.
Suricata suricatta iona, found in south-western Angola, Suricata suricatta majoriae in Western Namibia and Suricata suricatta suricatta found in South Africa. According to this book all meerkats in SA are Suricata suricatta suricatta Although they seem to be darker in colour in the eastern cape region. They apparenetly have the same ancestors as mongoose, but are leggier and are adapted to travel more than true mongoose.
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Richprins

Ietermagog

Unread post by Richprins »

JenB wrote:
(Translate: The name "ietermagog" was probably derived from Tswana: machocho ("ant") or magogwe ("honey badger"). The word formation, as well as the habitat and role of the animal in the superstitions of indigenous South African tribes support the origin of the word.)


Thanks, Jenb!

On the other hand, I have also searched around and found little other info!

The point is, there are old Dutch references to Ietermagog from the Cape, long before the Afrikaners met any Tswanas... :shock:

Still, point taken! :clap:

This just another insert, regarding animal names..

Die sebra is byvoorbeeld deur die Italianers of Portugese benoem, die cheetah kom van Hindoe wat "die gevlekte een" beteken, terwyl die oribi van die Khoisan-woord vir die spesie afgelei is.

Translation: Zebra is an Italian/Portuguese name.
Cheetah is Hindi (Indian) for "the spotted one".


Oribi (Oorbietjie is Afrikaans - probably a more direct interpretation, as the species is endemic)local Khoisan name.
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JenB
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Unread post by JenB »

RP, you've just tickled my curiosity so I Googled the word "Ietermagog" and was led to the website of the Afgan Hound Pedigree database. It would seem that there is a champion by the name of "Calahorra Ietermagog". :lol:

I think I should rest my case.... :roll:
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Jose
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Re: Sea cow

Unread post by Jose »

Richprins wrote:
rayb wrote:Hippopotamus comes from the Greek - Hippo = horse - Potamus = river.

<...>Interestingly, the German for Hippo is Seekuh - (Sea Cow)

Remember, the Dutch came prepared <...>

Yup, and we brought our dictionaries... :wink:
The German word for Hippopotamus is Flusspferd (= river horse) or also Nilpferd or Grossflusspferd. Compare Dutch Nijlpaard = Nilpferd = Nile horse.

Seacows (also called Sirenians) are an entirely different species, related to Dujongs and Manatees.
Don't you just love them tuskers? 8)
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Jose
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Unread post by Jose »

Pjw wrote:Billyf asked
Any idea where the name Meerkat derives from??
<...>one theory is that Meerkat is simply the Afrikaans for Mongoose. The other theory is that the early Dutch settlers used the phrase "meer kat as hond" which was shortened to Meerkat<...>


We've discussed the subject a while ago under Who's line is it any way? Revolving too:
Jose wrote:<...>"Meerkat" is the generic Afrikaans name for mongoose, and although the Dutch word suggests to be a combination of meer (lake) and kat (cat), this is incorrect. Another - false - assumption is that it is derived from the Afrikaans phrase "meer kat as hond" which translates to "more cat than dog", allegedly the description of mongooses by the early Dutch settlers. Over time the name has come to be associated with the species suricate (Suricata suricatta).

In fact, the original meaning of the (Dutch) word "meerkat" is "monkey", and it is related to Old High German "mericazza".
Thinking along the lines of folk-etymology, the most likely origin is a (recorded in writing) mispronunciation/misspelling of "markat" (Hindi) and/or "markata" (Sanskrit). This in spite of the word being used in Germanic long before any known direct contact with India. The earliest known reference of "meerkat" is dated as far back as the late 15th century, and so also well before the Dutch set foot on African shores.

For comparison: the Dutch name for Vervet monkey is Groene meerkat (Green Monkey).

Must say, I've always liked the "meer kat as hond" version of the tale. ;)
Don't you just love them tuskers? 8)
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Unread post by Mafunyane »

What about a

vlakvark-shallow pig (warthog)
and the whale
potvis-pot fish(spermwhale)
Dassie-small tie (rock hyrax)
klipspringer-stone jumper

I think the Kameelperd comes from because it walks like a Camel but runs like a horse(if you look at way the legs move)
blessbok-bald antelope
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