quagga, noun

Forms:
kwaga, kwaggaShow more Also kwaga, kwagga, and (formerly) kwakka, quacha, quager, quagger, quaggha, quagha, quaker, quakka, qwagga.
Plurals:
unchanged, or quaggas.
Origin:
South African Dutch, Khoikhoi, XhosaShow more South African Dutch (probably from Khoikhoi), onomatopoeic, named for the braying of the species; current in Xhosa as iqwarha quagga, Burchell’s zebra, mountain zebra.
1.
a. Any of several zebras of the Equidae. i. The extinct Equus quagga; mountain zebra sense (c), see mountain; wild ass, see wild sense b. ii. Burchell’s zebra, E. burchelli; bontequagga, bontquagga, see sense 1 b below; mountain zebra sense (b), see mountain. iii. The mountain zebra (sense (a) see mountain), E. zebra zebra. Also attributive.
Note:
In earlier times the distinctions between the different species were not always noted, but the name ‘quagga’ is now used primarily for the extinct Equus quagga, a zebra once found at the southern tip of Africa and now recognised, from genetic information, as a sub-species of E. burchelli (see quotation 1991).
[1776 F. Masson in Phil. Trans. of Royal Soc. LXVI. 297We saw numbers of wild animals, and in particular a variety of the Zebra, called by the Hottentots Opeagha.]
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 223I saw for the first time in my life, one of the animals called quaggas by the Hottentots and colonists. It is a species of wild horse, very like the zebra.
1790 Pennant in W. Paterson Narr. of Four Journeys 17The Quacha is striped like the former (sc. the Zebra) on the head and body, but with fewer lines.
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. II. 84Buffaloes, elephants, two-horned rhinoceroses, striped horses and asses, (Zebra, Quagga) and several kinds of goats.
1798 S.H. Wilcocke tr. of J.S. Stavorinus’s Voy. to E. Indies III. 4The quagga (equus quagga); these animals can be tamed and broke in; Sparrman says he saw one driven in a team, with five horses, at the Cape.
1806 J. Barrow Trav. I. 44We were gratified with the sight of a small herd of the beautifully marked animal the zebra, and a great number of another species of wild horse, known in the colony by the Hottentot name of qua-cha.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 138This beautiful animal has been hitherto confounded by naturalists with the Zebra. When these were first described by modern writers, the Quakka was considered to be the female Zebra while both that and the true Zebra bore in common, among the colonists, the name of Quakka.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 386Pits for ensnaring game were every where to be seen...A line of large branches and limbs of trees, placed so closely together as not to be easily passed by any of the antelopes or kwakkas.
1834 T. Pringle Afr. Sketches 503The cry of the Quagga (pronounced quagha, or quacha) is very different from that of either the horse or ass.
1860 A.W. Drayson Sporting Scenes 33The Kaffir..stood up to his full height, and..told the commissioner..that he was not a Hottentot: he here referred to the practice these men have of eating the quagga, or zebra.
1896 Scientific African Mar. 72The Quagga is so named onomatopœtically [sic], the word being an imitation of the peculiar bark of the animal sounding like ‘ouag-ga,’ the last syllable being very much prolonged.
1897 H.A. Bryden Nature & Sport 273The true quagga (Equus quagga) has already clean vanished from the great hunting-grounds of Southern Africa.
1920 E.H.L. Schwarz Kalahari; or, Thirstland Redemption 3Near Dassie Klip..he saw a number of quaggas, now extinct (unless the report be true, that there is a herd of them in the Kaokoveld, in the north of South West Africa).
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 1077The Quagga (equus quagga), which was perhaps a Southern variety of Burchell’s Zebra, was only striped to the centre of the body. This beautiful animal has been exterminated, although, eighty years back, it was found in immense numbers on the plains of the O.F.S.
1948 A.C. White Call of Bushveld 140There were, at the beginning of the 19th century, thousands of quagga on the plains of South Africa. The last wild specimen is reported to have been shot at Aberdeen in the old Cape colony in 1858. The last quagga in the London Zoo died in 1872, while another in the Amsterdam Zoo died in August, 1883.
1957 L.G. Green Beyond City Lights 144Veldkornet Frans van der Merwe..was the owner of a tame quagga which he hoped to use for stud purposes to improve the local horses.
1975 Motorist May 34Since the arrival of man at the Cape..no fewer than three species of our fauna have completely disappeared — the genuine quagga which in earlier times roamed the plains of the present Karoo and Free State in vast numbers, the Cape lion and the blue antelope.
1976 D.M.B. Preston Story of Frontier Town 22There is only one single quagga to be seen in South Africa and this is a stuffed foal in the Museum in Cape Town.
1979 Daily Dispatch 10 May 7Two boys found guilty of malicious injury to property after shooting a Quagga at their local zoo..worked weekends at the same zoo.
1990 Farmer’s Weekly 8 June 86 (advt)Fifteenth annual sale of game — Werksplaas Tshipise. Game species:..15 Quagga.
1991 E. Abrahams in Sunday Times 7 July 16Research, which used dry muscle tissue and blood removed from the skins of stuffed quaggas in museums around the world, proved that the creatures were merely sub-species of the plains zebra which had adapted its colour to fit in with its dusty Karoo environment.
1993 Sunday Times 16 May 2Reproduction history is to be made on Tuesday when South African scientists implant a zebra embryo into a horse in an attempt to revive the extinct quagga.
b. With defining word:
bergquagga /bɜːɡ-/, /bɛ(r)x-/, /beəx-/ [Afrikaans, berg mountain], the mountain zebra sense (a) (see mountain), Equus zebra zebra;
bontequagga, bontquagga /ˈbɔnt(ə)-/, also (formerly) bonti quagga, [Afrikaans, bont see bont], E. burchelli (see sense 1 a ii above).
1970 J.F. Prinsloo Informant, Lüderitz (Namibia)Bergquagga, a type of zebra found in the eastern Karoo, and should not be confused with the quagga that became extinct around 1870.
1972 Daily Dispatch 22 July 4The old pioneers used ‘quagga’ rather loosely for the mountain zebra (bergkwagga), Burchell’s zebra (bontquagga) and the quagga itself, so that it is difficult to say how far the range of the extinct species extended north.
1986 Our Living World 4th Quarter 1The bergkwaggas are back! The threatened Cape mountain zebra has made a welcome return to the Cape Peninsula after an absence of 300 years.
1839 W.C. Harris Wild Sports 372Equus Burchelli. Burchell’s Zebra. Bonti Quagga of the Cape Colonists.
1846 J.C. Brown tr. of T. Arbousset’s Narr. of Explor. Tour to N.-E. of Col. 87Two distinct species of quaggas are found on this side of the Orange River, that which the dutch colonists call brown quagga..and the speckled quagga. [Note] Bonte-Kwagga.
a1875 T. Baines Jrnl of Res. (1964) II. 53A herd of forty of the handsome bont quaggas — Equus burchelli — stopped to gaze at the wagons.
1982 S. Afr. Panorama Nov. 8The stripes of the mountain zebra are slightly different from those of the zebras found on the plains. The latter are sometimes called bontkwagga (variegated zebra).
1990 Skinner & Smithers Mammals of Sn Afr. Subregion 719The name quagga was applied to E. burchelli as well, although later bontquagga was used.
2. Special Combinations
quagga bok obsolete [South African Dutch bok antelope], some unknown animal;
quagga moed /-mʊt/ [Afrikaans moed courage], see quotation 1948;
quagga quick obsolete, quick sense 1 a.
1835 A. Smith Diary (1940) II. 79Quagga bok: About the size of a spring bok; striped blackish and dull white down the sides.
1948 A.C. White Call of Bushveld 146In connection with zebras, men speak of ‘zebra courage’ or ‘quagga-moed’. This is used as a term to signify the kind of courage which draws nothing from experience.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 388Quagga quick,..The name given to a species of grass that springs up in the Karoo veld after heavy rains.
Any of several zebras of the Equidae. i. The extinct Equus quagga; mountain zebra sense (c), see mountain; wild ass, see wildb. ii. Burchell’s zebra, E. burchelli; bontequagga, bontquagga, see 1 b below; mountain zebra sense (b), see mountain. iii. The mountain zebra (sense (a) see mountain), E. zebra zebra. Also attributive.

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17761993