klipspringer, noun

Forms:
Also klippenspringer, klippspringer.
Plurals:
klipspringers, or unchanged.
Origin:
Afrikaans, South African DutchShow more Afrikaans, earlier South African Dutch, klip rock + springer leaper, jumper.
The small mountain antelope Oreotragus oreotragus of the Bovidae; chamois; klip-bok; klip-buck; rock-goat. Also attributive, and occasionally figurative.
1785 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. II. 224The klipspringer has obtained the name it bears, from..its running with the greatest velocity, and making large bounds even on the steepest precipices and in the most rocky places.
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. (1928) I. 72At the very edge of the overhanging crags skipped the nimble antelope, called here the klippenspringer.
1835 A. Steedman Wanderings II. 10This peculiarity of structure in the hoof, and the rigid form of the pastern joints, account for the amazing agility which the klip-springer displays in bounding among the most dangerous rocks and precipices.
1862 Lady Duff-Gordon in F. Galton Vacation Tourists (1864) III. 156The ‘klip springer’...Such a lovely little beast, as big as a small kid, with eyes and ears like a hare, and a nose so small and dainty.
1878 T.J. Lucas Camp Life & Sport 227The klip springer, a little antelope only found in rocky districts; which we find provided with a most perfect atmospheric apparatus in the hoof, which being pressed upon the smooth rocky surface, and being provided with a series of minute spongy cells, creates a temporary vacuum, and enables the antelope to maintain its footing.
1885 Macmillan’s Mag. (U.K.) 24 Feb. 280The klip-springer, the little chamois that is so clever at eluding dogs and men.
1896 R. Ward Rec. of Big Game 116Klipspringer venison is excellent.
1900 W.L. Sclater Mammals of S. Afr. I. 167The klipspringer...General colour speckled yellow and brown; hair very coarse..close lying and thick, forming a species of cushion all over the body of the animal.
1949 J. Mockford Golden Land 226The tiny klipspringer..leaps nimbly from rock to rock on the slopes of the koppies.
1964 G. Campbell Old Dusty 156We..had been watching two klipspringers jumping daintily from rock to rock along the kopje face, their pointed toes giving them a wonderful security on the sloping boulders.
1971 J.A. Brown Return 153Above them on a ledge were a pair of klipspringer, regarding them curiously; then whistling they leapt away.
1973 Daily Dispatch 1 May 2Mr. Basson had changed his political affiliation so many times he was nothing but a political klipspringer.
1990 J. Heale Scowler’s Luck 67A klipspringer darted onto a pinnacle of rock, gazed at them and then disappeared on tiny hooves that seemed to float down the crags.
1992 A. De Klerk in S. Afr. Panorama Mar.Apr. 74Among the mammal inhabitants are klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus), steenbok [etc.].
1994 M. Roberts tr. of J.A. Wahlberg’s Trav. Jrnls 1838–56 34The Klippspringer is said, when leaping down steep slopes, to assume an upright position, and to land on his hind legs.
The small mountain antelope Oreotragus oreotragus of the Bovidae; chamois; klip-bok; klip-buck; rock-goat. Also attributive, and occasionally figurative.
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17851994