DSAE test file

springbok, noun

Forms:
Also spring-boc, spring-bock.
Plurals:
unchanged, springboks, occasionally springbokken.
Origin:
South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch, from Dutch springen to jump + bok antelope; see quotation 1810.
I. The animal.
1.
a. The gazelle Antidorcas marsupialis of the Bovidae, in colour cinnamon-brown, dark reddish-brown, and white, having long narrow ears, ribbed lyre-shaped horns, and a dorsal fan of long white hairs, and characterized by the high and graceful leaps into the air which it makes when excited or disturbed; pronkbok, see pronk verb sense 1; springbuck; springer sense 1. Also attributive. See also houbok, trekbok (trek sense 12 b).
Note:
South Africa’s national animal.
1775 Phil. Trans. of Royal Soc. LXVI. 283We saw some herds of the spring bocks, a species of antelope.
1990 W. Smith Golden Fox 224Mingled with the flocks of merino sheep were vast herds of springbok. These graceful little antelope danced upon the plains like puffs of wind-driven dust. Their delicate bodies were pale cinnamon slashed with bars of chocolate and blazing white.
b. transferred Prison slang.. Alluding to ‘jumping’ (slang for ‘escaping’): an escapee from prison.
1987 S.A. Botha in Frontline Oct.Nov. 15Springbok, escaper.
II. transferred sense Used as a national symbol.
2. Now always with initial capital. Plural Springboks; when used collectively, frequently the Springboks.
a. An amateur sportsman or sportswoman selected to represent South Africa; bok sense 3 b; used collectively, a South African sporting team, especially the national rugby team; cf. the green and gold (see green and gold noun phrase sense b). Also attributive.
1906 S. Afr. News Weekly 3 Oct. 1A crowd of 9,000..accorded the springboks a great reception as they walked on the field.
1992 Guardian Weekly 13 Nov. 31England remain favourites to beat the tourists at Twickenham but any hint of complacency on their part will have been dispelled by the Springboks’ strong, stylish performance.
b. Obs. exc. historical. A nickname for a South African soldier during the two world wars; collectively, the Union Defence Force (see U.D.F. noun1). Also attributive. Cf. bokkie sense 3.
1916 Daily Mail (U.K.) in J. Crwys-Williams S. Afr. Despatches (1989) 218The South Africans..waited till the Germans were close up. The Springboks then hurled themselves on the Germans, whom they fiercely attacked with rifle and bomb, driving them back in a panic.
1991 F.G. Butler Local Habitation 7A captain of Royal Army Supply Corps, who had served in Italy cried, ‘Hullow, Springbok, you look lost.’
3. In historical contexts. Elliptical for Springbok Radio, a commercial radio station of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, operating from May 1950 until the mid-1980s. Also attributive.
1967 M.G. Gilbert Informant, Westminster (OFS)They..are writing to the Mercury & will also broadcast thanks over Springbok.
1985 Frontline May 39White listeners who used to think that the name of broadcasting was Springbok.
4. In the phrase Springbok Scout: from 1961 the name given to a ‘Queen’s Scout’.
1970 F.N. Glover in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. II. 478What was a Queen’s Scout..is now a Springbok Scout.
1985 S. Afr. Panorama Sept. 16South Africa once had king or queen scout badges for boys who had achieved high levels of expertise. Today, there are Springbok scouts.
5. The springbok symbol, used on badges, insignia, etc. Also attributive. Cf. bokkie sense 3.
1925 [see sense 2 b].
1992 E. Jayiya in Pace Sept. 23About half an hour before the match a huge, beaming, white man appeared in the crowd waving a large ANC-flag with a springbok on [it].
The gazelle Antidorcas marsupialis of the Bovidae, in colour cinnamon-brown, dark reddish-brown, and white, having long narrow ears, ribbed lyre-shaped horns, and a dorsal fan of long white hairs, and characterized by the high and graceful leaps into the air which it makes when excited or disturbed; pronkbok, see pronkverb1; springbuck; springer1. Also attributive.
Alluding to ‘jumping’ (slang for ‘escaping’): an escapee from prison.
An amateur sportsman or sportswoman selected to represent South Africa; bok3 b; used collectively, a South African sporting team, especially the national rugby team;
A nickname for a South African soldier during the two world wars; collectively, the Union Defence Force (see U.D.F.noun). Also attributive.
Elliptical for Springbok Radio, a commercial radio station of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, operating from May 1950 until the mid-1980s. Also attributive.
from 1961 the name given to a ‘Queen’s Scout’.
The springbok symbol, used on badges, insignia, etc. Also attributive.

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Quotation summary

Senses

17751992
17751990
19871987
19061992
19161991
19671985
19701985
19731992