n African Zoology - isiXhosa name for leopard s - : short communications

Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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The confusion among some speakers of isiXhosa concerning he meaning of ingwe can probably be traced to John Ayliff's dictionary of the language published in 1846. There he gives 'tiger' as and 'leopard' as ihlozi. He clearly treats the two as distinct species. This is contrary to South African usage in English and Afrikaans in which tiger/tier is an alternative name for leopard/luiperd. The confusion does not appear in twelve other languages in which ingwe (or a cognate) means leopard in southern Africa, and not another species.

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