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Diederik or Dideric? (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

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Cyprus
Something just prompted me to check the spelling of the Cuckoo above and note, two spellings, IOC with Diederik and ebird with Dideric, anyone tell me why?
 
Well! I was thinking the answer would be lost in the mists of antiquity. Here's some history:

Clements called it "Dideric" in their book in 2000 and has done ever since.
Howard & Moore called it "Dideric" too in their book in 2003 and then switched to "Diederick" in the 4th edition (2013).
BirdLife International switched from "Dideric" to "Diederik" in their Version 7 (2014).
IOC called it "Dideric" in their 2006 book, then switched to "Diederik" in version 2.9 (2011).

(If you look closely you'll see three different names, not two.)

But you know, IOC documents the reasons for its changes. If you look at its "Updates" page you won't see anything that old, but its archives are online in separate pages. And under Version 2.9 it says:


“Diederik” is correct spelling of established name that attempts to match the call of this cuckoo (R Payne comm)

I haven't looked into "R Payne" but I'm sure somebody will be able to identify that name.
 
Incidentally my copy of "Birds of South Africa south of the Sahara" from 2003 calls it "Diderick" so there's a fourth spelling.
 
Well! I was thinking the answer would be lost in the mists of antiquity. Here's some history:

Clements called it "Dideric" in their book in 2000 and has done ever since.
Howard & Moore called it "Dideric" too in their book in 2003 and then switched to "Diederick" in the 4th edition (2013).
BirdLife International switched from "Dideric" to "Diederik" in their Version 7 (2014).
IOC called it "Dideric" in their 2006 book, then switched to "Diederik" in version 2.9 (2011).

(If you look closely you'll see three different names, not two.)

But you know, IOC documents the reasons for its changes. If you look at its "Updates" page you won't see anything that old, but its archives are online in separate pages. And under Version 2.9 it says:


“Diederik” is correct spelling of established name that attempts to match the call of this cuckoo (R Payne comm)

I haven't looked into "R Payne" but I'm sure somebody will be able to identify that name.
Many thanks for this Paul.
 
Diederik is the Cape Dutch/Boer name for this cuckoo, and refers to the “persistent, plaintive song of 5—7 high-pitched, fluty whistles, dee-dee-deederik, rising and falling in pitch” (Hockey et al., 2006, Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, ed. VII, p. 214.)
 
Cs and Ks get swapped elsewhere iirc ... or ck. Dideric does sound like an attempt at an anglicisation of Diderik (or Diederik)


Reminds me of South Park and Kilkenny ...


(Die Derek vs Kill Kenny ... ;-) )
 
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What is a bit intriguing is that François Levaillant, in 1790, claimed he had coined the name himself from the call -- writing it, indeed, 'didric' -
[...] je trouvai encore dans ce Canton beaucoup de ces Coucous dorés décrits par Buffon, sous le nom de Coucou Vert-doré du Cap. Cet oiseau est sans contredit le plus beau de son genre; le blanc, le vert & l'or enrichissent son plumage; perché sur l'extrémité des grands arbres, il chante continuellement & dans une modulation variée, ces syllabes DI Dl DIDRIC aussi distindement que je l'écris; c'est pour cette raison que je l'avois nommé le DIDRIC.
Did the Cape Dutch/Boer name arise independently, or was it itself originally a Dutchization of Levaillant's French name ?
(Is the rendering of the bird's song as 'di[e]d[e]ric/k' -- however you may want to spell it -- really sufficiently natural to expect it to have arisen twice ?)
 
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Levaillant 1806 has Le Coucou Didric and Le Coucou verd doré ou le coucou dideric, doubtless onomatopoeias gathered from his Cape Dutch and Khoikhoi companions and guides.
 
Levaillant 1806 has Le Coucou Didric and Le Coucou verd doré ou le coucou dideric, doubtless onomatopoeias gathered from his Cape Dutch and Khoikhoi companions and guides.
I don't see anything explicit to this effect in Levaillant 1806. The only thing I find is :
J'ai déja, dans la relation de mes voyages, fait mention de ce magnifique petit coucou de l'Afrique méridionale, dont Buffon avoit avant moi fait connoître le mâle sous le nom de coucou vert doré et blanc du Cap de Bonne-Espérance, nom auquel nous substituons celui de Coucou didric parce qu'il exprime le ramage de l'oiseau, qui d’ailleurs n’est pas le seul du genre coucou dont le plumage soit vert doré et blanc, comme on le verra.
In this text, he explains the reason for the change (Didric is better because it expresses the bird's voice; Buffon's name expesses characters that are not unique to this species), but not the source of the name he chose (who coined it, where he took it from).
In 1790, he stated explicitly "je l'avois nommé le Didric" -- I had named it the Didric.
("Nommer" in French can admittedly also be used in the sense of "calling by a name", rather than "giving a name to"; but the fact that Levaillant used a past tense in this sentence, while obviously calling the bird by this name at the same time, doesn't seem compatible with interpretating it this way here.)
 
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