duiker, noun

Forms:
dekker, duckerShow more Also dekker, ducker, duyker, dyker.
Plurals:
duikers, or unchanged.
Origin:
South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch, transferred uses of Dutch duiker diver (from duiken to dive).
1. [Named in South African Dutch for their characteristic behaviour, especially when fleeing (see quotation 1896).]
a. Any of several species of small antelope of the genera Philantomba and Sylvicapra of the Bovidae; diker-buck; diver sense 2; diving goat; duikerbok. Also attributive.
1777 G. Forster Voy. round World I. 84The duyker or diving antelope..is not yet sufficiently known.
1790 tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. II. 110They scarcely ever eat the flesh of the hare, or of the antelope called duykers.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 187The Duyker (Diver) is one of the smaller Antelopes, being not much above two feet in height; very light and elegantly made, like most of that tribe.
1847 J. Barrow Autobiog. Memoir 145Of the genus antelope we procured, within the Cape district, the duyker, the griesbok, and the klipspringer (the diver, the grizzled, and the rockleaper).
1860 A.W. Drayson Sporting Scenes 60The duiker (Cephalopus mergens) most frequently found amongst bushes, or long grass; about two feet high, three feet eight inches long; horns four inches in length.
1866 E. Wilson Reminisc. 169The medicines and charms are carried in a bag made of the skin of the dekker (a wild buck).
a1867 C.J. Andersson Notes of Trav. (1875) 227Now and then a steinbok, a ducker, a hartebeest, and so forth, may be seen.
1872 C.A. Payton Diamond Diggings 81Fred, the driver, shot a ‘duiker’ doe one rainy day; it is a pretty little antelope of a quiet dun-brown colour.
1896 R. Ward Rec. of Big Game 96From the south of Cape Colony right away through Africa, there is to be seen the timid, crouching Duiker. The name Duiker, by the way, which, translated from the Dutch, means ‘diver,’ aptly illustrates the furtive, squatting, dodging habits of this small antelope.
1913 J.J. Doke Secret City 125A duiker passed like a shadow into the deeper shadow of the hedge, followed by her fawn.
1936 C. Birkby Thirstland Treks 298Few other animals can live in the desert. The springbok is one,..and the duiker, the dainty antelope which King Khama of Bechuanaland used as his crest.
1951 R. Griffiths Grey about Flame 120M’Busi leaped to the sleeping mats and threw a heavy duiker skin kaross over his son’s head.
1973 Cape Times 13 Jan. (Weekend Mag.) 4Duikers are divided mainly into two groups, the forest duikers and the bush duikers. The forest duikers frequent the mountainous areas and bush duikers the dense scrub country.
1988 M. Nel in Personality 25 Apr. 54The duiker have become so cheeky they come into town and nibble the hedges around the hotel.
1991 H. Hutchings in Weekend Post 30 Mar. (Leisure) 7Mr and Mrs Beukes have regular visits from grysbok and dyker in their garden.
b. With distinguishing epithet, denoting a particular species of antelope:
blue duiker, the smallest southern African antelope Philantomba (or Cephalophus) monticola; blauwbok sense 2; bloubokkie; bluebok; blue buck sense 1; ipiti;
common duiker or grey duiker, the widely distributed antelope Sylvicapra grimmia; impunzi; puti;
red duiker, Philantomba natalensis, chestnut in colour.
1900 W.L. Sclater Mammals of S. Afr. I. 164The blue duiker was known to the travellers of the end of the last century.
1976 J. Hanks Mammals 20The..blue duiker is able to scurry under bushes and shrubs which the common duiker would jump over or go around.
1988 Natura No.15, 4The blue duiker derives its name from the bluish sheen on its coat.
1992 E. Collins in Weekend Post 4 July (Leisure) 1It (sc. the park)..contains a number of blue duiker, an endangered antelope listed in the Red Data Book.
1951 A. Roberts Mammals 326Sylvicapra grimmia grimmia..Common or Grey Duiker.
1976 J. Hanks Mammals 21The common duiker can be readily distinguished..by the crest between the horns and its yellow to greyish-brown colour.
1990 Skinner & Smithers Mammals of Sn Afr. Subregion 642Common duikers are almost exclusively browsers, only very rarely eating grass.
1862 A Lady Life at Cape (1963) 105By the merest chance I came across the lovely grey ‘duiker’.
1971 Sunday Times 21 Mar. (Business Times) 4The ticket on a safari included the shooting of..warthog, grey duiker and 20 birds.
1988 A. Hall-Martin et al. Kaokoveld 35Of the four dwarf antelope species of the Kaokoveld, the grey duiker is the most solitary.
1990 Skinner & Smithers Mammals of Sn Afr. Subregion 638They (sc. common duiker) may be referred to as the grey duiker but in some parts of their distributional range they vary from rufous to yellow in colour.
1900 W.L. Sclater Mammals of S. Afr. I. 162The red duiker is essentially a forest dweller..inhabiting the thickest bush and kloofs where there is water.
1971 Sunday Times 24 Jan. (Mag. Sect.) 5Red duiker — a species which, for many years, had been thought to be extinct.
1976 J. Hanks Mammals 20The uniform chestnut colour should distinguish the red duiker from other species.
1990 Clinning & Fourie in Fauna & Flora No.47, 16Red duikers are inhabitants of moist forests and coastal scrub, and occur from the southern Sudan southwards..to as far south as Natal.
c. combinations
duikerwortel /-vɔːtəl/, /-vɔrtəl/ [Afrikaans, wortel root], any of several species of the plant Grielum of the Rosaceae, the rootstock of which is said to be favoured by duikers.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 205Duikerwortel, Grielum marlothii...The plants are said to be a good and fattening stock feed. The succulent rootstock..is a favourite food of the duiker buck.
1975 Argus 17 Sept. 28Here is the derivation of the other name of the plant, duikerwortel...In the spring and summer months the duikers use their neat, pointed little hoofs to dig the roots up out of the sandy places in which they tend to grow.
1983 M.M. Kidd Cape Peninsula 134Grielum grandiflorum...Duikerwortel. Prostrate or straggling.
2.
a. [Named for its characteristic feeding behaviour.] Any of several species of cormorant of the Phalacrocoracidae, occurring in both marine and inland waters; diver sense 1. See also sense 2 b.
1838 D. Moodie (tr. of J. Van Riebeeck’s Jrnl) in Record I. 13The yacht returned from Robben Island, bringing about an hundred black birds, called duikers, (cormorants) of a good flavour.
1856 C.J. Andersson Lake Ngami 16The way in which the ‘duikers’ (cormorants and shags) obtain their food is not uninteresting.
1867 E.L. Layard Birds of S. Afr. 380Graculus Carbo...Duiker of Colonists...Its chief haunt is the rocky, lonely shore at the base of Cape Point.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 311The white sea-birds wheeled around his head, uttering shrill cries, the duikers plunged and dived in the dark water.
1931 R.C. Bolster Land & Sea Birds 175The Duikers..have bodies ‘sharpened to a point for diving’...[They] sun and dry themselves with wings outstretched.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 352Guano is deposited by Malagas (or Gannets), Penguins and Duikers in the latter half of the year.
1969 Personality 5 JuneThere is also a shooting season of three months as these lakes are well known for their bleshoenders, duikers and certain types of wild duck.
1973 M. Philip Caravan Caravel 30A duiker squawked as it flapped its wings in rapid flight and then dived into the sea in front of them.
1977 Het Suid-Western 31 Aug.Hundreds, perhaps thousands of black Cape cormorants (also known as duikers) have been dying all along the Southern Cape coast in the past two weeks.
1988 J.A. Brown Mousanzia 1‘Keep your eyes peeled for duikers, Black Mo’...Soon the dark-winged birds would be leaving their roosts on the rocky ledges of Seal Island.
b. With distinguishing epithet, denoting species of water bird:
i. Any of several species of cormorant:
bank duiker, Phalacrocorax neglectus;
reed duiker, P. africanus;
trek-duiker [Afrikaans, trek, see trek noun], the Cape cormorant (see Cape sense 2 a), P. capensis;
white-breasted duiker, P. carbo.
1931 R.C. Bolster Land & Sea Birds 202The..Bank Duiker, which generally goes in small parties of three and four, frequents the fishing-banks.
1950 L.G. Green At Daybreak for Isles 129Besides the trek duiker and the white-breasted duiker, there is a species on the island known as the bank duiker.
1906 Stark & Sclater Birds of S. Afr. IV. 10In South Africa the Reed Duiker is generally distributed throughout the country wherever there are suitable conditions.
1931 R.C. Bolster Land & Sea Birds 175Both the Reed Duiker and the Snake Bird swim low in the water with little more than the head and neck showing.
1950 L.G. Green At Daybreak for Isles 129The reed duiker..also nests on the islands; but this is really a fresh-water bird.
1906 Stark & Sclater Birds of S. Afr. 6The Trek Duiker is found all along the coasts of Southern Africa as far north as the Congo on the west, but not beyond Durban on the east.
1918 S.H. Skaife Animal Life in S. Afr. 235The duikers, or cormorants, are well-known sea birds around our coasts. The trek-duiker is especially common on the south and west coasts.
1931 R.C. Bolster Land & Sea Birds 202The Trek Duiker..is so called because the birds, which are often in very large flocks, fly straight and low, with continuous flaps of the wings and periodical glides, in long lines to their fishing-grounds.
1946 L.G. Green So Few Are Free 70Trek-duikers are by far the most common.
1906 Stark & Sclater Birds of S. Afr. IV. 5Though not nearly so common as the next species (P. capensis), the White-breasted Duiker cannot be called a scarce bird.
1908 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 141The White-breasted Duiker..is found all along the South African coast.
1950 [see quot. at bank duiker above].
ii.
sweet-water duiker, the darter Anhinga melanogaster of the Anhingidae.
1867 E.L. Layard Birds of S. Afr. 378Plotus congensis..Sweet-water Duiker...The ‘Anhinga,’ ‘Snake-bird,’ or ‘Darter,’ is not unfrequent in certain localities.
Any of several species of small antelope of the genera Philantomba and Sylvicapra of the Bovidae; diker-buck; diver2; diving goat; duikerbok. Also attributive.
, any of several species of the plant Grielum of the Rosaceae, the rootstock of which is said to be favoured by duikers.
Any of several species of cormorant of the Phalacrocoracidae, occurring in both marine and inland waters; diver1.
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