Re: Thick-knees and names, yet again

To: <>
Subject: Re: Thick-knees and names, yet again
From: "John McAllister" <>
Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2007 12:59:25 +0200
Philip Veerman wrote:

"Interestingly Peter wrote:

'Two other species of African distribution are respectively called:
Water Dikkop (B. vermiculatus)
Spotted Dikkop (B. capensis)
The South Africans know how to allocate a great name.'

That is true but a little amusing. I'd almost bet that "Dikkop" means 
literally "Thick Head", which is funny in itself, that two parts of the bird 
are called thick. As such it is the same as the early name for our Whistlers 
(and still the same as literally Pachycephala). We could almost go in 
endless circles and connect Stone-curlews with our whistling voiced 

Sorry my earlier message went out twice, once before I had finished my 
typing and punctuation on it.


Thanks for your kind comments about South Africans - we really need them 
after the beating we took from Bangladesh in the Cricket World cup in Guyana 
last night (South African time).  Unfortunately the name of both species - 
Water Dikkop and Spotted Dikkop - has been officially changed to Thick-knee 
and appears as such in our latest Field Guides.  For a short time it was 
proposed that they become Stone-curlews, but this did not last for long.

Philip Veerman is right in his translation of "Dikkop" as "Thick Head" which 
sounds like I feel when having partaken of too much red wine.  Why did 
someone feel that "Thick-knee" is an insulting name?


John McAllister
South Africa 


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