Cameleopard - Etymology


The name giraffe has its earliest known origins in the Arabic word zarafa (زرافة), perhaps from some African language. The name is translated as "fast-walker". There were several Middle English spellings such as jarraf, ziraph, and gerfauntz. It is also possible that the word was derived from the animal's Somali name Geri. The Italian form giraffa arose in the 1590s. The modern English form developed around 1600 from the French girafe. The species name camelopardalis is a Latin word.

Kameelperd is also the name for the species in Afrikaans. Other African names for the giraffe include Ekorii (Ateso), Kanyiet (Elgon), Nduida (Gikuyu), Tiga (Kalenjin and Luo), Ndwiya (Kamba), Nudululu (Kihehe), Ntegha (Kinyaturu), Ondere (Lugbara), Etiika (Luhya), Kuri (Ma'di), Oloodo-kirragata or Olchangito-oodo (Maasai), Lenywa (Meru), Hori (Pare), Lment (Samburu) and Twiga (Swahili and others) in the east; and Tutwa (Lozi), Nthutlwa (Shangaan), Indlulamitsi (Siswati), Thutlwa (Sotho), Thuda (Venda) and Ndlulamithi (Zulu) in the south.

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