poenskop, noun

Forms:
Also poeskop, and with initial capital.
Plurals:
unchanged, or poenskops.
Origin:
Afrikaans, South African Dutch, Dutch, Show more Afrikaans, earlier South African Dutch poenskop, poeskop a polled, hornless animal, or a type of fish, probably adaptation of Dutch potskop, butskop a species of dolphin or of fish, from pots, buts bump, boss + kop head; the spelling poeskop probably arose through confusion with Dutch poeskop ‘cat-head’.
1. A cow-elephant without tusks. Also attributive.
1860 A.W. Drayson Sporting Scenes 151Of all things mind cow-elephants without tusks; they are not common, but if you do come across a ‘poes-kop’ like this, ‘pas-op’ (take care).
1971 E.C.G. Marais tr. of E.N. Marais’s My Friends the Baboons 109Among gregarious animals there is usually a special leader...Among elephants this special function is entrusted to a ‘poenskop’ cow (a cow without tusks).
2.
a. Either of two species of seabream of the Sparidae, so called for the shape of their heads: i. The red stumpnose (see stumpnose sense 2), Chrysoblephus gibbiceps. ii. The black musselcracker (see musselcracker sense 2), Cymatoceps nasutus.
1887 S.W. Silver & Co.’s Handbk to S. Afr. 182Chrysophrys gibbiceps...Poeskop...One of the choicest of colonial fishes.
1930 C.L. Biden Sea-Angling Fishes 263Drew on the beach an enormous poenskop. The many children..laughed..loudly...The great fish lay on its belly; the widely separated and staring eyes, the high forehead and broad head, the massive long nose depending below the thick lips, the stumpy protruding teeth..reminded them of a familiar town figure.
1955 C. Horne Fisherman’s Eldorado 89The poenskop is the fish which is also known as the stompkop, the black musselcracker and the black biskop in the Western Province. It is the black steenbras of the Eastern Province and the Wild Coast, the musselcracker of Natal.
1971 E. Prov. Herald 15 July 16The South African records do contain a Musselcracker, but is is no. 719, which is our Poenskop. The Eastern Province records list it as a Poenskop.
1982 S. Afr. Fishing Apr.May 10Along Seaview, a lot of poeskop have been caught, but most of these fish are small and anglers should return them to the water alive.
1982 E. Prov. Herald 24 June 21Also the big chaps are about — the poenskop and the musselcrackers — keeping company with the elf.
1990 M. Holmes in E. Prov. Herald 14 Sept. 18In those days the Natalians knew the poenskop as musselcracker.
1991 M. Holmes in E. Prov. Herald 8 Mar. 18Red Steenbras barely 15cm long, Red Roman even smaller, dozens of Poenskop under 2kg.
b. With distinguishing epithet:
blue poenskop, the black musselcracker (see musselcracker sense 2), Cymatoceps nasutus;
red poenskop, the red steenbras (see steenbras sense b), Petrus rupestris.
1981 E. Prov. Herald 25 Mar. 6There is great excitement in Plett/angling circles. For the first time in many years blue poenskop have been caught in the bay...Red poenskop have been caught..lately but the blue variety have become a rarity.
1981 E. Prov. Herald 23 Apr. 11I read a report..from Plettenberg Bay about ‘blue poenskop’ and ‘red poenskop’ being caught down that way...I had to telephone Jock Hunter, of Plettenberg Bay...He told me the fish referred to were poenskop and red steenbras.
1981red poenskop: [see both of the prec. quots].
A cow-elephant without tusks. Also attributive.
The red stumpnosestumpnose2, Chrysoblephus gibbiceps.
The black musselcrackermusselcracker2, Cymatoceps nasutus.
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