Shoot the Messager? How the Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius got its names (mostly wrong)

  title={Shoot the Messager? How the Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius got its names (mostly wrong)},
  author={Ian Glenn},
  pages={287 - 290}
  • I. Glenn
  • Published 3 July 2018
  • Philosophy
  • Ostrich
Research into the etymology of various names for the Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius reveals a comedy of errors from Vosmaer, his French translator, Buffon, Sonnerat, and Miller to Fry. The research suggests that the name Sagittarius resulted from a misunderstanding in Holland and that Buffon introduced the name Messager in error. The Arabic root proposed for the name by Fry in 1977 is historically implausible and linguistically illogical. 
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Etymology of ‘Secretary‐Bird’
Een vorstelijke dierentuin. De menagerie van Willem V. Le zoo du prince. La ménagerie du stathouder Guillaume V (Zutphen: Walburg instituut, 1994, 120 blz
  • Review of: BC Sliggers, AA Wertheim
  • 1996
Robert Jacob Gordon 1743-1795: the man and his travels at the Cape
  • 1992
Webster’s revised unabridged dictionary
  • 1913
Amazing species profile: Secretary Bird! Bird Brained Science
    Beschryving van eenen Afrikaanschen nog geheel onbekenden roof-vogel, de sagittarius genaamd