One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small stony concretion which may form in the stomachs of certain animals, especially ruminants, and which was once used as an antidote for various ailments.
- ‘They induced him to swallow therapeutic potions of oriental bezoar stone from the stomach of a goat and boiled spirits from a human skull.’
- ‘Patients were still observed to empty liquids rapidly, leading to the ‘dumping syndrome’, and to retain solids, leading to bezoar formation.’
- ‘An obstruction series or plain abdominal radiographs may be necessary to distinguish obstruction from parasites or bezoars.’
- ‘This sometimes results in a serious medical problem called gastric bezoar - more commonly known as a hairball - which may require surgical removal.’
- ‘Endoscopy revealed a large gastric bezoar and a 2 x 3 em lower esophageal ulcer that was thought to be the source of bleeding.’
2A wild goat with flat scimitar-shaped horns, found from Greece to Pakistan. The ancestor of the domestic goat, it was the best-known source of bezoars.
Capra aegagrus, family Bovidae
- ‘The major contributor of modern goats is the Bezoar goat which is distributed from the mountains of Asia Minor across the Middle East to Sind’
- ‘The bezoar goat is quite common throughout the leopard range, but especially in Khosrov Reserve, where it makes over 90% of the predator's diet.’
- ‘The former project was targeted on seven species of large mammals and has identified the leopard, bezoar goat, and Armenian mouflon (Ovis orientalis gmelini) as taxa that deserve the most urgent conservation actions in the country.’
- ‘Close examination of its horns can tell you the age of the Bezoar goat.’
- ‘Most of them depict the predator hunting its staple prey, the bezoar goat, or being hunted by men.’
Late 15th century (in the general sense ‘stone or concretion’): from French bezoard, based on Arabic bāzahr, bādizahr, from Persian pādzahr ‘antidote’.
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