May 7, 2017



Gnus - not: wild beasts

The wildebeests, also called gnus, are a genus of antelopes, scientific name Connochaetes. They belong to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, sheep and other even-toed horned ungulates

May 7, 2017


I always assumed "gnu" was the Swahili.

June 2, 2017


I just never heard the name wildbeests before, as a non-native English speaker I had immediately a picture of 'wild beasts', safari, elephants, tigers, lions in my mind...

June 3, 2017


Etymonline.com says that gnu comes from the word for wildebeest in Southern Bushman (!nu:) which is spoken with clicks.

July 4, 2017


We call it "gnou" in French.

August 21, 2017


Wildebeest is used in English too. There are a lot of Afrikaans names for animals used in English - springbok, hartebeest, duiker etc. Often there's more than one name used, such as wildebeest or gnu ... and apparently an impala (from Zulu, cognate with the Swahili word paa/pala) can also be called a rooibok, although I've never heard this.

September 8, 2017


They should add gnu, but wildebeest is also correct. They mean the same

January 31, 2018


They just emailed me to say my suggestion of "gnu" was accepted. It now works (May 2018).

May 19, 2018


Here's that Flanders & Swann song using the gnu to poke fun at silent letters in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPgo6s1lBbw

February 23, 2018


Yeee... I need to use two dictionaries to get the meaning of this...beast :) Became - gnu.

July 5, 2017


Wildebeest is an "Afrikaans" word, one of the languages spoken in South-Africa, which has its origin in Dutch but is quite different now.

July 29, 2017


And Afrikaans got from the Khoi Khoi & San languages...

April 4, 2019


In Spanish, we call a wildebeest ñu, which seems to me pretty close to both nyumbu and gnu.

September 1, 2018
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