Word Archaeology: blouwildebeesoog

This Afrikaans word refers to a disease that can lead to blindness and ruptured eyeballs in sheep that come into contact with a contagious blue wildebeest. The most susceptible animals seem to be Karakul, Persian, and Afrikander sheep. The disease has been recorded in the Kuruman district, Bechuanaland Protectorate, and in southwest Africa. The word comes from “blouwildebees” (brindled gnu) and “oog”, the Middle Dutch word for “eye”.

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Wes Platt

Lead storyteller. Game designer and journalist. Recovering Floridian.

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