One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Used attributive with reference to an extinct hominid known from the fossil skull of a juvenile found in a quarry at Taung, South Africa, which was the first fossil hominid discovered in Africa and was subsequently named Australopithecus africanus.
1920s; earliest use found in The Times. From Taung, † Taungs (Setswana Taung; from tau lion, also used by members of a local group of people to refer to themselves + -ng, locative suffix), the name of a town in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa (now North West Province), where the remains were found in 1924.
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