Definition of tok-tokkie in English:

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Pronunciation: /tɒkˈtɒki/

noun (plural tok-tokkies)

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


Early 20th century (in sense 2): Afrikaans, from Dutch tokken 'to tap', of imitative origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tok-tokkie

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