One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A kind of antelope mentioned by Herodotus and Pliny, perhaps the addax, Addax nasomaculatus. Now historical and humorous.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in The Wycliffite Bible (early version). From classical Latin pȳgargus a kind of antelope, a kind of eagle or hawk (Pliny) from ancient Greek πύγαργος a kind of antelope (Herodotus), a kind of eagle (Aristotle), lit. ‘white-rump’ from πυγή rump + ἀργός white.
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