One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun A children's game that involves tricking a victim, especially by knocking on a door and running away before it is answered.
- ‘She forgot the most elementary rule of tok-tokkie, which is to run like hell after you have knocked on the door, not stand around and actually tell the police you did the knocking.’
2A dark rounded African beetle which strikes its abdomen on the ground, making a rapid tapping sound to attract a mate.
Dichtha and other genera, family Tenebrionidae
- ‘Busy, often burrowing insects such as tok-tokkies and sunspiders scuttle across the desert floor.’
- ‘He found Namaqua chameleons, tok-tokkies and spent quite some time on a Palmato gecko, a small animal that, after being removed from his hole in the sand, didn't want to dig itself in anymore.’
- ‘Many of the tok-tokkies prevent evaporation of water from their bodies by producing a waxy coating that keeps the water in.’
- ‘South African tok-tokkies drum their abdomens against soil and rocks to attract mates.’
- ‘Commonly called tok-tokkies for a sound they make to attract a mate, the tenebrionid family consists of some 200 species.’
Early 20th century (in tok-tokkie (sense 2)): Afrikaans, from Dutch tokken ‘to tap’, of imitative origin.
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