Definition of tok-tokkie in English:



South African
  • 1mass noun A children's game that involves tricking a victim, especially by knocking on a door and running away before it is answered.

    ‘She forgot the most elementary rule of tok-tokkie, which is to run like hell after you have knocked on the door, not stand around and actually tell the police you did the knocking.’
  • 2A dark rounded African beetle which strikes its abdomen on the ground, making a rapid tapping sound to attract a mate.

    Dichtha and other genera, family Tenebrionidae

    • ‘Busy, often burrowing insects such as tok-tokkies and sunspiders scuttle across the desert floor.’
    • ‘South African tok-tokkies drum their abdomens against soil and rocks to attract mates.’
    • ‘Many of the tok-tokkies prevent evaporation of water from their bodies by producing a waxy coating that keeps the water in.’
    • ‘Commonly called tok-tokkies for a sound they make to attract a mate, the tenebrionid family consists of some 200 species.’
    • ‘He found Namaqua chameleons, tok-tokkies and spent quite some time on a Palmato gecko, a small animal that, after being removed from his hole in the sand, didn't want to dig itself in anymore.’


Early 20th century (in tok-tokkie (sense 2)): Afrikaans, from Dutch tokken ‘to tap’, of imitative origin.