One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large Indian antelope, the male of which has a blue-gray coat and short horns, and the female a tawny coat and no horns.
Boselaphus tragocamelus, family Bovidae
- ‘We also spotted the nilgai, the sambur, the wild boar and even a hare.’
- ‘Mills has culled a great deal of data to show which ungulates form its preferred diet - chital, sambar, nilgai and barasingha, and in some forests, gaur.’
- ‘If you feel you're missing out on watching tigers launch assaults on nilgai, or muggers ambushing chital as they bend down to drink, take heart.’
- ‘When you see a nilgai, you don't tarry when letting off the shot.’
- ‘Sadly, most of the large animals reported from the Ridge in the 1920s and 1930s have gone including leopard, wild boar, wolf, blackbuck, and most of the nilgais.’
Late 18th century: from Hindi nīlgāī, from nīl ‘blue’ + gāī ‘cow’.
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