One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large antelope that has a grey coat, distinctive black-and-white head markings, and long straight horns, native to south-western and East Africa.
Oryx gazella, family Bovidae. See also beisa
- ‘You will also see gemsbok, springbok, eland, blue wildebeest, cheetahs, wild dogs, jackals, bat-eared foxes and leopards.’
- ‘It has taken everything from Colorado mule deer to zebra, impala, gemsbok and waterbuck in Africa.’
- ‘In addition, antelope sightings, such as gemsbok and springbok, are up significantly.’
- ‘Resident populations of springbok, gemsbok, elephant and giraffe mean that there is always some action.’
- ‘Some other interesting wildlife here includes giraffe, leopard, cheetah, jackal, blue wildebeest, gemsbok and black rhino.’
Late 18th century: via Afrikaans from Dutch, literally ‘chamois’, from gems ‘chamois’ + bok ‘buck’.
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