plural -s
: a short-winged shrike (Telophorus zeylonus) of southern Africa

Word History


borrowed from Afrikaans, of imitative origin

Note: The species is known for male-female duetting; by tradition, bok is the call of the male bird, and makierie the immediate response of the female. The word is apparently recorded first in English, as beckbecary (1831); closer to Afrikaans is bokmakary, recorded by the English bird artist Christopher Webb Smith in the later 1830's. See Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles (Oxford, 1996), Etimologiewoordeboek van Afrikaans (electronic edition, Stellenbosch, 2003).

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near bokmakierie

Cite this Entry

“Bokmakierie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!