variants: or skaapsteker \ ˈskäpˌstikə(r) , -​tēk-​ \
plural -s

Definition of schaapsteker

: any of several inoffensive and generally harmless African back-fanged snakes: such as
a : a snake (Trimerorhinus rhombeatus) irregularly marked in shades of brown

called also spotted schaapsteker

b : a related snake (T. tritaeniatus) having two or three dark longitudinal bands on the grayish brown back

called also striped schaapsteker

c : a sand snake of the genus Psammophis

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History and Etymology for schaapsteker

Afrikaans skaapsteker, from skaap sheep (from Dutch schaap, from Middle Dutch schaep) + steker one that stings or pricks, from Dutch, from steken to sting, prick + -er; akin to Old High German stehhan to sting, prick

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Cite this Entry

“Schaapsteker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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