The wildebeest caper

🐇 🐇 🐇 trois lapins to inaugurate the month of February. But wait! Are those the hoofbeats of … wildebeests? Stand clear! Make way for gnus!

Out with the old month, in with the gnu. From my 5/31/13 posting “Transposed proverbs”:

(#1) Mother Goose and Grimm: A pun on gnu and new and a transposition of dog and new in You can’t teach an old dog new tricks — though a transposition of a N and an Adj is unlikely, though not unknown, in the world of inadvertent errors

On the wildebeest, from Wikipedia:

The wildebeest …, also called the gnu … is an antelope of the genus Connochaetes. It is a hooved (ungulate) mammal. Wildebeest is Dutch for “wild beast” or “wild cattle” in Afrikaans (beest = cattle), while Connochaetes derives from the Greek words κόννος, kónnos, “beard”, and χαίτη, khaítē, “flowing hair”, “mane”. The name “gnu” originates from the Khoikhoi name for these animals, gnou.

An actual wildebeest, on the hoof:

(#2) Blue wildebeest, C. taurinus, in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania (Wikipedia photo)

Start spreading the gnus. From my 7/17/17 posting “Start spreading the gnus”:

(#3) A Dan Thompson cartoon

Wildebeests, gnus, whetever — they’re all ungulates.

Takes some work to set things up for the punchline, an absurdist pun on the first line of the song “New York New York”, which Frank Sinatra took on as one of his signature tunes.

Oscar Wildebeest. From the DUB site — “the independent news and opinions site with current news and background articles centered around the university community in Utrecht” in the Netherlands — the cartoon of 9/9/22:

(#4) The DUB cartoon on university topics features as regular characters a cow, a pig, a kangaroo, a zebra, and a wildebeest named Oscar — yes, the POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) Oscar Wildebeest

The meatless Tofudebeest. A Gary Larson Far Side cartoon from January 1991:

(#5) The portmanteau tofudebeest ‘health antelope’ = tofu ‘bean curd as health food’ + wildebeest

Addendum, later in the day, specifically on gnus. From my 3/14/12 posting “The news for gnus”, about this Rhymes With Orange cartoon:


Gnus do inhabit the Serengeti.

I can’t think of gnus without being reminded of Flanders and Swann’s delightful Gnu Song — which you can hear here, along with photos of real-life gnus.


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