pronk, verb

Origin:
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans pronk to show off, make a display (from Dutch proncken); (of a springbok) to leap.
1. combination
obsoletepronkbok [Afrikaans, bok buck], springbok sense 1 a.
1796 E. Helme tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. III. 29 (Pettman)The above name (sc. gazelle de parade) is one of those given to this antelope at the Cape of Good Hope, where the planters distinguish it by that of pronk-bock (the goat which adorns itself).
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 386Pronk bok,..Another name for the Spring-bok...The reference is to the peculiar bounds which this antelope is in the habit of making.
2. intransitive. Of an antelope (usually a springbok): to leap into the air with arched back and stiff legs.
1896 F.V. Kirby In Haunts of Wild Game 49He quickly settles down into a long ‘rocking-horse’ canter, or else goes ‘pronking’ away, as the Boers style it.
1915 Chambers’s Jrnl (U.K.) Nov. 703A whole troop of these antelopes are thus leaping..‘pronking’, or ‘pranking’, as the Boers call it.
1921 W.C. Scully Harrow 103A few springboks were ‘pronking’ with strange antics, bounding hither and thither with sheer joy of life; their pure-white, erect, dorsal manes gleaming like snow.
1931 G. Beet Grand Old Days 15What magnificent sights were the herds of tens of thousands of graceful springboks ‘pronking,’ as the Boers call it, in all directions.
1939 J.B. Taylor in F.G. Butler When Boys Were Men (1969) 259Springbok, when disturbed, would invariably jump the road and then ‘pronk’, jumping high in the air and landing with all four feet bunched together.
1949 J. Mockford Golden Land 213Springboks, those fleet antelopes that leap high in the air arching their back, that is to say pronking, so that their short white mane and spine-protector gleam in the sun.
1955 L.G. Green Karoo 42Suddenly huge groups of buck would take fright and begin ‘pronking’, with backs arched, in twenty-foot leaps.
1971 Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 10 June (Family Sect.) 6The beautiful springbok..gives a spectacular alarm signal...It springs into the air, back arched, displaying a crest of pure white hairs. This is called ‘pronking’.
1972 Daily Dispatch 22 July 4The animal has a fan of longer white hairs on its back and when it is ‘pronking’ these stand up erect on the arched back.
1983 Nat. Geog. Mag. Mar. 375Jumping for joy, a springbok ‘pronks’ in stiff-legged leaps, behaviour that sometimes signals alarm but also seems to express exuberance, often observed in the cool of evening or after a rainstorm.
1987 You 22 Oct. 56The Springbok’s name originates from his ability to leap high into the air. This is also known as pronking. When threatened, the animal leaps three to four metres into the air while simultaneously fanning open the long white hair on his back, very much like a Spanish fan.
1990 Weekend Post 24 Mar. 3In the rural area of Theescombe, tame grysbok can be seen zig-zagging down a lawn in roan-coloured flashes or pronking over tall tufts of grass on impossibly dainty hooves.
1992 C. Urquhart in Afr. Wildlife Vol.46 No.6, 264When disturbed this inquisitive and rather trusting antelope (sc. the oribi)..gives a sharp whistle or sneeze, leaps up and runs off rapidly for a short distance, sometimes ‘pronking’ quite high into the air.
, springbok1 a.
Of an antelope (usually a springbok): to leap into the air with arched back and stiff legs.
Derivatives:
Hence (sense 2) pronking verbal noun.
1925 S.C. Cronwright-Schreiner Migratory Springbucks 17I have never seen in any museum, not even in South Africa, a springbuck set up in the act of pronking, which is remarkable, because pronking is its most characteristic attitude.
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17961992

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