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bok-bok, noun

Forms:
Also with initial capital.
Origin:
Afrikaans, Dutch, Show more Afrikaans, from Dutch. The intended sense of bok is uncertain. The name is derived from a formula recited in the game, the Afrikaans version being ‘Bok, bok, staan styf, hoeveel vingers op jou lyf?’, (Bok, bok, stand firm, how many fingers on your body?). The game, believed to be of great antiquity, is known in Britain as ‘Hey cockalorum’; the name ‘Buck-buck’ has also been recorded.
Note:
In the Satyricon of T. Petronius Arbiter (died A.D. 66), a man, riding on another’s back and hitting him on the shoulder with his fingers, asks ‘Bucca, bucca, quot sunt hic?’ (Bucca, bucca, how many are here?). In this context the meaning of bucca is not known. Its usual sense is ‘mouth’ or ‘cheek’, but it can also mean ‘big-mouth’; here, it may be related to the Sanskrit bukka he-goat, or be borrowed from a Germanic word represented in modern Dutch by bok goat, or in Old English by the word búc belly, body, trunk.
A boys’ game, with several variations, in which the players of one team fling themselves onto the other team in an attempt to make them collapse, either jumping one at a time onto the bent backs of opposing team members, or attempting to topple a pyramid composed of the other team.
Note:
See note at now-now.
1936 E. Rosenthal Old-Time Survivals 20‘Bok-Bok’, One of South Africa’s most popular games among boys. The basic idea, and even the quaint Dutch formula, spoken before the heap of youngsters collapses on the ground, is traceable far back into the Middle Ages.
1988 T.J. Lindsay Shadow (1990) 187Before long they had formed two teams and were playing bok-bok, one team forming a scrum around one of the plane trees, the other hurling themselves at it after a run up one at a time.
A boys’ game, with several variations, in which the players of one team fling themselves onto the other team in an attempt to make them collapse, either jumping one at a time onto the bent backs of opposing team members, or attempting to topple a pyramid composed of the other team.

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19361988