slangvreeter, noun

Forms:
Also slangen-vrechter, slangenvreeter.
Origin:
South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch slangvreter, from Dutch slangen snakes + vreter eater.
obs.
The secretary, Sagittarius serpentarius.
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 154The Hottentots give it a name most suitable to its nature, viz. as translated into Dutch, slangen-vreeter, (or serpent-eater).
1796 E. Helme tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. II. 244 (Jeffreys)The secretary is known in the colonies both by the name secretaris, and by that of slangvreeter.
c1808 C. von Linné System of Nat. Hist. VIII. 20Kolbe has confounded it with the pelican; for the name of slang-vreeter, serpent-eater, which he applies to the pelican, is the only appellation by which this bird is known, both by the Hottentots and the Dutch colonists. The name of secretaire, or secretary, was afterwards given it by the Dutch.
1847 A Bengali Notes on Cape of G.H. 80The ‘Secretary bird’ called by the colonists ‘slangen-vrechter,’ or serpent-eater, is common in the interior.
1867 E.L. Layard Birds of S. Afr. 33Serpentarius Reptilivorus...Le Mangeur de Serpents..; Secretary Bird; Slangvreter of Colonists.
1897 H.A. Bryden Nature & Sport 53The curious secretary bird (Sagittarius secretarius, the ‘Slang vreeter’ — snake-killer — of the Boers), that puzzle to scientists, still stalks the veldt with ludicrous solemnity.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 449Slang vreeter,..The Dutch name for the Secretary bird.
The secretary, Sagittarius serpentarius.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

17861913