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gemsbok, noun

Forms:
gemsboc, gemsbockShow more Also gemsboc, gemsbock, gemsboke, gemse-bok, gensbok, ghemsbok, hemps-bôk, jems bok.
Plurals:
unchanged, gemsboks, or (rare) gemsboke, gemsbokke /ˈxemsˌbɔkə/.
Origin:
South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch, transferred use of Dutch gems chamois + bok (see bok).
1. The large, strikingly-patterned antelope Oryx gazella of the Bovidae, with long, straight, very sharp horns that incline slightly backwards; gemsbuck; kukama. Also attributive. Cf. bastard gemsbok.
1777 G. Forster Voy. round World I. 84The Egyptian antelope..is here (sc. at the Cape) called gems-bock or chamois.
1991 Personality 5 Aug. 27Half-starved gemsbok, their skin hanging over their ribs, because they’ve been unable to adapt to feeding in captivity.
2. combinations
gemsbok cucumber, gemsbok komkommer /kɔmˈkɔmə(r)/ [Afrikaans, komkommer cucumber; see quotation 1991], the plant Acanthosicyos naudinianus of the Cucurbitacea; its fruit;
gemsbok grass, either of two species of grass of the Poaceae, Stipagrostis uniplumis (subfamily Arundinoideae) or Eragrostis pallens (subfamily Chloridoideae);
gemsbok tail grass, Stipagrostis hochstetterana.
a1936 E.N. Marais Rd to Waterberg (1972) 89The green and yellow prickly gemsbok cucumber — singular in its absence from South African fruit markets and a distinct loss to our palates.
1988 A. Hall-Martin et al. Kaokoveld 7The ephemeral grasses of the plains..dominate a sparse wispy grassland...A few perennials like the gemsbok tail grass (Stipagrostis hochstetterana)..also occur.
The large, strikingly-patterned antelope Oryx gazella of the Bovidae, with long, straight, very sharp horns that incline slightly backwards; gemsbuck; kukama. Also attributive.

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17771992