One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large nocturnal spitting cobra of southern Africa, with one or two white rings across the throat.
Hemachatus haemachatus, family Elapidae
- ‘And hiding in over 50 varieties of grasses, are snakes: among them the deadly rinkhals and puff adders.’
- ‘The south African ringhal cobra is the most venomous snake living in the world which could cause the death of the victim within 15 seconds of the attack.’
- ‘The Cape cobra and the rinkhals are dangerous, but they tend to be found more inland than along the coast.’
Late 18th century: from Afrikaans rinkhals, from ring ‘ring’ + hals ‘neck’.
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